Caregiving is sometimes called the hardest job you’ll ever love, and caregivers and homecare companions would surely agree. How much do you love your job? Do you love it enough to be doing it when you’re 100? In Washington, D.C., two centenarians are still taking care of their business, every day, at age 102 and 103! A Buffalo centenarian works 11 hours a day, six days a week at her family laundromat, and plans to keep up that schedule until her gams give out. And the next time you go through a McDonald’s drive through in Hagerstown, Maryland, you might get your fries from the oldest Mickey D’s employee in the U.S., a nonagenarian who’s been flipping burgers for 20 years and truly is lovin’ it! The next time you have the Monday blues, remember these hard-working ladies.
Artist Marilee Shapiro Asher has been an artist all her life, and continues to work in her studio every day. At age 102, she’s currently dabbling in digital photography (!) since she had to give up sculpting in heavy bronze in her eighties. Her first gallery show was in Chicago in 1938, and her most recent in downtown DC in 2012. After two husbands, two children, an autobiography, and creating her own website, Marilee has no plans to stop making art.
At 103, Mabel Sawhill, who is still running the catering business she started when she was 70, doesn’t let her walker slow her down. She moved to Washington from her native Iowa to serve in World War II, and after the war continued to work for the Navy. After retiring, she went pro with her catering hobby, and has been serving tiny sandwiches ever since. In fact, there are more than a few people who can say that Mabel catered both their wedding receptions, and their golden wedding anniversaries. Ironically, Mabel also caters funerals, including those of all her friends. She credits her longevity and energy to the fact that she never married, and has no plans to retire her apron.
You’ll find centenarian Minnie Rotundo at the Buffalo laundromat she manages Monday through Saturday. From 7am to 6pm every day she washes and folds alongside her son, and believes that she is an example of what older people can accomplish. She’s been working since age 15, and just doesn’t believe in retirement.
Relative spring chicken Harriet Clopper, 95, is America’s oldest McDonald’s employee. Sporting a vest full of flair, Harriet started working at the Hagerstown, MD McDonalds 20 years ago, and never left. Popular with the regulars, Harriet has long outlasted the manager who hired her, although she’s finally considering retirement later this year – maybe.