This was a long overdue retirement.
Melba Mebane, a 90-year-old Texas woman, finally called it quits, retiring from her retail job at Dillard’s department store after working there for an astonishing 74 years.
The devoted employee first started as an elevator girl at the Dillards in Tyler, Texas, in 1949 — when she was 17 — before being promoted to the cosmetics department.
“Even [with] the changing times, from where she started to where we are now in the modern world, her values and everything still stand,” Dillard’s store manager James Saenz told Fox News.
Mebane became a staple in the retail store, always showing up to work with a smile and positively impacting everyone who entered.
Saenz even claimed she never called out sick or missed a day of work.
“Melba sets the tone for everything, every expectation, every customer service quality that we look for in a luxury experience,” her admiring former manager said.
As she got older, she never strayed away from her routine of being on time for work.
“She’s a grinder,” said Terry Mebane, the retiree’s son. “The store would open at 10 and she wanted her parking spot, so she got there between 9 o’clock and 9:15.”
The nonagenarian often took short lunch breaks “because she knew that people often took off [during] their lunch hour to come to the mall to buy what they were going buy, and she didn’t want to miss her opportunity,” her son revealed.
Even in her 70s and 80s, Mebane continued to work 40 hours a week.
While some of her work colleagues viewed the job as just “a paycheck,” Mebane encouraged them to see it as more.
She found joy in her work, inspiring others and excelling in department sales.
“I loved everybody there, and I loved to go to work,” an overjoyed Mebane told Texas station KLTV7.
“Can you imagine how many people she coached and taught and trained to aspire to be more?” gushed Saenz.
Unfortunately, she started facing some health issues and had to say goodbye to the place she had worked for seven decades.
However, her dedication to the company did not go unnoticed.
Dillard’s hosted a retirement party where they honored Mebane with a “Beyond Excellence” award, a plaque honoring her “decades of service beyond expectations” inside the Tyler store.
The honor “will remain here for as long as Dillard’s is around,” declared Saenz.