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Woman retires from retail job after nearly 74 years of service

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

A woman has retired after almost 74 years of service at a US department store - and here’s me struggling to make it to the weekend.

Melba Mebane, 90, started working at Dillard’s in Texas, US, as a life operator all the way back in 1949.

Melba has worked at the department store so long, her employment actually predates its name - as it wasn’t called Dillard's until 1956.

In her decades-long employment, Melba has worked in several departments including menswear before moving to cosmetics where she served out the rest of her career - and which may explain why she looks so glam.

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Melba Mebane worked at the store for more than seven decades. Credit: KLTV
Melba Mebane worked at the store for more than seven decades. Credit: KLTV

Speaking to KLTV, she said: “I loved everybody there, and I loved to go to work every day.” And the feeling is more than mutual, with her former employer saying the staff ‘love her’ and branding her ‘one of the most important people at Dillard’s’ - quite right, too.

Melba’s son Terry said: “She really enjoyed the conversations with the people.”

But all good things much come to an end, so despite loving the job - and the people - Melba decided that after more than seven decades it was time for her to retire and she now plans to ‘do something fun’.

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Terry went on: “Most of the fellow employees had all retired, and it was kind of a new generation. So, she decided,‘May be time to go do something fun’.” Well, you’ve certainly earned that Melba.

Melba said she plans to ‘rest, travel and eat good food’ in her retirement. Credit: KLTV
Melba said she plans to ‘rest, travel and eat good food’ in her retirement. Credit: KLTV

Melba told the news outlet that with her newfound free time she's going to rest, travel and eat some good food. Sounds perfect to me.

With such a lengthy career under her belt, Melba deserved a fitting send-off and on Saturday (10 June) her family, friends and colleagues joined to celebrate her retirement.

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Among them was Dillard’s vice president Drue Dillard Matheny, who has known Melba for 65 years.

She said: “She is the happiest, most ‘up’ person, gives so much service to the community.

She attended a retirement bash with her nearest and dearest. Credit: KLTV
She attended a retirement bash with her nearest and dearest. Credit: KLTV

"She’s made so many friends. I would come watch her in cosmetics and just go, ‘I wish I could be like that’ because she was incredible with people. Still is.”

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Melba was also handed a certificate of excellence to mark her incredible achievement of becoming the longest-serving member of staff.

Speaking to Melba directly, Drue said: “We love you. You’ve been one of the most important people at Dillard’s for 70 years, and we love you and God bless you.”

Topics: Life, Shopping

Claire Reid
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