When asked if he had any idea that they had planned the reception, complete with snacks and a cake, Little said he had not.
“I’ve been busy,” he said.
For the last 50 years, Little has been busy as not just a pharmacist but as a teacher and a student as well.
He received his pharmacist license from the state board of pharmacy on Feb. 21, 1963, and has spent the last 35 years employed in the pharmacy at Floyd Medical Center.
“Of course, pharmacy has changed a great deal and Floyd Medical has changed a lot in 35 years,” Little said. “Technology has changed, and education has changed. I’m a few years behind that. Have I been able to keep up with it? No.”
The crowd standing around him quickly corrected the response with a resounding, “Yes.”
Little was born in Summerville and grew up with thoughts of being a doctor while attending Darlington School.
“A friend of mine went to pharmacy school, and I figured that was as good of a background as any for medicine,” Little said.
When his health got bad while at pharmacy school, he decided he would not be able to continue his education to become a doctor.
But Little turned that decision into a half-century of taking care of the people of Northwest Georgia in a way that is more indirect but just as important.
“This profession is an education,” Little said. “As you work, there is so much to learn all of the time.”
Floyd Medical Center pharmacy director Bobby Purcell has known Little since Purcell was a student at what was then Shorter College.
“Gordon has always been a mentor, and he’s been one to a lot of people,” Purcell said. “He is a wealth of knowledge and has been able to transition over the years.”
Little said retirement hasn’t really crossed his mind yet, but he is going through life one day at a time.
“Some experiences aren’t worth the trouble,” he said. “But when you have the benefit of experience, it’s good to learn from it and be conscious of that.”