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Woman, 90, who hasn't missed a day of work in 74 years finally retires

Woman, 90, who hasn't missed a day of work in 74 years finally retires

Melba Mebane has just entered her well-deserved retirement at 90, after 74 year at the same company without missing a day of work

A 90-year-old woman has retired from her job in a shop after 74 years of work without missing a single day.

Melba Mebane is from Texas, and she’s been working in Dillard’s department store for well more than seven decades.

In total, she’s done 74 years, starting out as an elevator girl at the age of 17 in 1949.

Eventually, she moved up through the ranks and worked in the cosmetics department at the store in Tyler, Texas.

There, she provided a ‘luxury’ experience for all her customers over the years, also acting as a fantastic role model for the hundreds of other employees that she’s seen come through the Dillard’s doors.

She’s well overdue a good retirement, then.

Melba Mebane has worked for Dillard's for 74 years.
KLTV 7

The store manager James Saenz was effusive in his praise of Melba’s work, telling Fox News: “Even [with] the changing times, from where she started to where we are now in the modern world, her values and everything still stand.”

She really has become part of the shop over her lengthy career, sharing a smile with everyone she has met and leaving a great impression on customers and colleagues alike, and – according to Saenz – she’s never called in sick once or missed a day of work.

Even into recent years – into Melba’s 70s and 80s - she’s been working for 40 hours per week.

“Melba sets the tone for everything, every expectation, every customer service quality that we look for in a luxury experience,” her former manager continued.

It all starts first thing in the day, according to her son Terry.

“She’s a grinder,” he said.

Melba was honored with a big party.
KLTV 7

“The store would open at 10 and she wanted her parking spot, so she got there between 9 o’clock and 9:15.”

What’s more, she’d often take shorter 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 added.

Others have just seen their work as a ‘paycheck’, but it’s always been more than that for Melba.

“I loved everybody there, and I loved to go to work,” she said.

Excelling professionally, inspiring others, and generally being a good egg seems to have been the key.

“Can you imagine how many people she coached and taught and trained to aspire to be more?” Saenz asked.

"She's not just a salesperson. She's a mother. She guides you. She gives you advice on life. She’s amazing."

Now, she’s had a couple of health issues and had to put her working life behind her, but her presence will be missed and she was rewarded with a big party.

At one stage, it all became too much for the 90-year-old retiree.
KLTV 7

At that party, she also received a ‘Beyond Excellence’ award for ‘decades of service beyond expectations’.

They’ve also put up a plaque honoring her, which will remain in the Tyler store ‘as long as Dillard’s is around’, Saenz concluded.

Here's hoping that she enjoys her retirement.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Terry Mebane/KLTV 7