The woman who taught generations of kids to tie their shoes and mind their manners has announced her retirement.

Marcia Kling, known to most Chattanoogans as "Miss Marcia," is retiring on May 30, according to a statement from WTVC, her employer for the past 51 years.

In an email to her co-workers, she said, "Unlike the Energizer Bunny, I never intended going on and on...  So, when my work day ends on Thursday, May 30, I will leave the station for the last time.  The decision to do so has not been easy . . . and largely because of all of you."

Marcia Kling joined WTVC in 1962 to host a program called "Romper Room."  She soon revamped the program, naming it "Funtime."  The show ran from 1963 to 1978.  In an era before pre-kindergarten and Headstart programs, "Miss Marcia" taught the alphabet, how to tell time and good nutrition habits, among other important lessons.  She also sang a special "Happy Birthday" song that still resonates with thousands of Tennessee Valley baby boomers. 

After "Funtime" ended its run, she created "Nifty Nine," a program for kids age six to twelve.  The show gave children a chance to read news updates aimed at a young audience during afterschool programming.

She later served as the station's Director of Community Affairs and in 1982 focused her work on the lives of people over 50 in her role as the Life Watch reporter.  In recent years, she has appeared on the station's midday talk show "This N That."

WTVC General Manager Mike Costa said "Marcia Kling is everything that is good about Chattanooga."

Miss Marcia, a much-honored volunteer, says she and her husband David plan to remain active with many community projects.  They also plan to enjoy their role of full time grandparents. 

From David Carroll: for some personal reflections on "Miss Marcia" click here: