Nevada County people: July 29, 2008 |

Nevada County people: July 29, 2008

Jo Bourne, a Nevada City native, retired this year from the California Highway Patrol after 45 years in state service.

Bourne, 65, had started her career with the California Department of Transportation and began working for the CHP in 1981, she said.

“It’s wonderful, but it feels a bit strange,” Bourne said about her new life as a retiree. “My days are not as structured as it was when I was working. I’m now doing more fun things. My husband and I are traveling. I’m also more involved with my church.”

Bourne was honored at a special dinner at the Miners Foundry early this year for serving the state for nearly half a century.

“I was really honored by the things people said at the dinner,” Bourne said. “I was not only honored by their presence, but also by their friendship over the years.”

Bourne was the Grass Valley area office manager at the time of her retirement. She was “answerable directly to the area commander” and oversaw “all the functions of the office,” Bourne said. She was also an instructor at the CHP Academy for clerical employees for 26 years.

Bourne’s family has a long history in state service. Her father, Joe Swartz, retired from Caltrans in 1968 as a supervisor at the Nevada City office, she said. Her husband, Dale Bourne, retired as a regional manager with Caltrans in 2003. In addition, Bourne’s five uncles and a cousin all worked for Caltrans, she said.

“Between my father, my husband and myself, we have about 120 years of service to the people of California and Nevada County,” Bourne said.

In retrospect, the work she did for decades with the CHP and Caltrans seems worthwhile to Bourne because “I was there to help people when they needed it,” she said.

“I loved my work, I loved those I worked with and enjoyed what I did,” she added.

Bourne lives with her husband in Alta Sierra. She’s an alum of Nevada City Elementary School and Nevada Union High School.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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