Hatteberg's People - Loren Wade

By: Larry Hatteberg Email
By: Larry Hatteberg Email

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Winfield, Kan. -- You met him two years ago when he was named ‘America’s Outstanding Oldest Worker’.

He was 100 years old and still working at Wal-Mart. Well, guess what? Loren Wade of Winfield will be 102 next Friday and he is still working at Wal-Mart.

“It’s a job that I have to get up every morning to be here. After I get here, it is enjoyable." says Wade.

Tonya Villar Wal-Mart Store Manager says “It’s hard work, he’s always busy. He knows just what needs to be done. He never questions anything. He wants to do ‘right’ for the customers.”

“Like the merchandise I have here in the cart, people put it down, they don’t put it back where they got it, so I get to go around and put it back where it is supposed to be.” says Wade.

His co-worker, Cassy Gritzmaker says “He’s a great guy, he’ll do anything for you, he’ll help you with anything and he’s a people-person. He’s just an all-around great guy.”

Wade says “They want to know why I’m still here and I think it is because I keep active. I enjoy meeting people and talking with people. It’s just so boring to sit around the house and do nothing and then I go to sleep instead of getting out and working.”

His store manager Tonya Villar says she believes Wade is a role model. "People look at him and they are very inspired.”
“Your age is just a number, it doesn’t really mean that you’re that old. I feel as good as I did when I was 80.” says Wade.

“There is a commercial on TV, I think it is for some arthritis medicine, but it reminds me of Loren, because the catch phrase on it is ‘A body in motion tends to stay in motion.’ That just is a perfect example of Loren. He can still out do most of us here, half his age.” says Claims Manager LeeRoy Nally.

“He does a lot of different tasks around the store and does them all well.” says Villar.

So, is he thinking of retirement?

“I’ve thought about it many times, but like I say, it is so boring to sit around the house and do nothing. I’ve worked all my life, I’ve worked since I was 12 years old. I just enjoy doing it.”

“He’s still works circles around some of the other folks around here.” says Gritzmaker.

“Keeps me occupied.” says Wade.

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