America's Outstanding Oldest Worker - 2012

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Loren Wade was born in Winfield, Kan., on July 25, 1912, and has lived there his entire life.  He graduated from Winfield High School in 1930. His first job was at 12 when he pulled weeds at a tree nursery, and he has worked consistently ever since.

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 During his 88 years in the workforce, Wade had many jobs that have helped keep Winfield going. After graduation he made iron and aluminum castings. Then he got a job at the Ford Garage, where he earned $12 for a 60-hour workweek until the Depression hit. Then “if you could get a job, you grabbed it,” so he drove a truck and ushered at the Nile Theater in town. Before World War II and after he returned from 43 months in the Air Force where he served in India and China, he worked for Railway Express. He also had his own business laying carpet, sanding floors, and installing ceramic tile and a couple of jobs with the U.S. Postal Service. In 1983 he left his mail carrier job but was not yet ready to retire. That is when he found employment at the Winfield Walmart – where he has been ever since. 

Over the years Wade has done a bit of everything at the store. He had the privilege of meeting Sam Walton twice when he stopped by the Winfield Walmart for a visit. Wade heard Walton say to a manager, “Why don’t we have more guys like this working here?” 

Loren Wade

Today, Wade works 30 hours, five days a week. He estimates he walks two or three miles a day doing his job, which includes restocking, changing merchandise displays, working the cash registers, and serving customers. He is currently assigned to the pet supplies department. Not only is he knowledgeable about the merchandise, he is a patient, pleasant, and conscientious employee. Customers and fellow employees often say, “If you need something, ask Loren; he will know where to find it.” 

Wade is a role model in his community and to other older workers because of his diligent work ethic and unstoppable desire to continue to do the best possible job at whatever he is doing. To him, age does not matter. Wade’s advice to people in the workforce today: “Do a good day’s work for your pay.”

Loren Wade

When not working, enjoying home life with his wife, or tending his garden, Wade goes to rehearsals and performances with the Winfield City Band; he’s played the saxophone for the past 79 years!  Music (and work) make him happy, but so does candy, especialy chocolate and various gummy things. 

 

 

 

Video

Celebrating 100 years - watch this birthday message to Loren Wade from his managers and fellow associates at Walmart.  

Hattesberg's People: Loren Wade, Still Working at 100

 
Slide show from the press conference announcing the Outstanding Oldest Worker  


 



 

 

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