Hatteberg's People - Beatrice Doane

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March 13th, 2011

On Hatteberg's People, most of us have multiple jobs during our working career, but that doesn't apply to one Kansas woman who could be setting a record. Beatrice Doane of Fredonia, Kansas could be the longest serving employee in the U.S....maybe the world.

"October 4, 1929."

That's when Beatrice's husband signed the papers purchasing this store. They had dated in their early teens and at 18 years old, in November of 1929, she and Bliss were married.

"It was pretty hard times yes, pretty hard times, but we managed to make it."

82 years later, Beatrice is still working....in the same store....in the same location where she has been since 1929.

"And when we bought the store, I breast-fed all my babies. And I cooked our meals up here."

Her husband Bliss died in 1991, but the next generation of the family was standing by to continue when Beatrice and Bliss began.

Now, her son Roland and his wife Shannon own the store....keeping it the family.

"You know it is a great store for me and I love it. I can work with my husband and I love it here."
The furniture store sells new and used furniture, bedding, and has eclectic items from the past not found in most stores. Beatrice visits with people as they come, here with her grandson Justin Doane.

"Well, I've lived a Christian life...an honest life you know."

In this store full of cubbies that haven't changed since 1929, she knows where everything is, and never ever does she want to stop working.

"Oh don't give up, don't give up....no. I worked when I was a child at home. Why would you want to quit? Why would you want to quit? That's the wrong thing to do."

"No, she never gives up. She just keeps going. And she is here rain or shine."

"I've got to keep my hands busy and my feet a-going."

A stroke a few years back, confined her to the wheelchair...but this woman never quit and with her son Roland...keeps the old store humming.

"A lot of people has heard about me and they come in and visit me."

"I thank the Lord every day that I'm here."


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