84-year-old great-grandmother celebrated as H-E-B's longest working employee
Ofelia 'Ophie' Garcia tells FOX Business she feels 'extremely humbled and honored'
H-E-B recently honored its longest working grocery store employee, Ofelia "Ophie" Garcia.
Garcia worked at the Texas-based chain for 56 years prior to her recent retirement. In celebration, the city of Austin officially proclaimed Dec. 22 "Ophie Garcia Day."
"Growing up as a migrant worker at the age of 12, and having very little education, I am grateful to have received work training and education at H-E-B," Garcia told FOX Business. "I am extremely humbled and honored to have been recognized by the City of Austin in their proclaiming December 22, 2021, as Ofelia 'Ophie' Garcia Day."
Garcia added, "I am deeply grateful and appreciative to the city and H-E-B for this outstanding proclamation."
The 84-year-old great-grandmother was honored for her achievements at Austin's Oak Hill H-E-B, the store where she worked since 1965. She is the company’s longest serving store employee, with her tenure the overall longest in the company after Charles Butt, the supermarket’s CEO and chairman.
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The Oak Hill resident of 32 years has long been a staple in her community, bringing light and joy to countless H-E-B customers. For many years in her long career at H-E-B, Garcia worked as a cosmetician in the cosmetics department, before becoming a door greeter and helping with Spanish translations in the pharmacy and business center before her retirement.
Garcia rarely called in sick and insisted on working during weather emergencies and during the pandemic. In early 2020, Garcia was named to Family Eldercare’s "80 Over Eighty," which celebrates Central Texans ages 80 and up whose actions, service and wisdom inspire the community. Garcia has also been celebrated as "Queen for a Day" at the store.
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"We can never do enough to honor the sustaining contributions of our frontline retail employees," Austin District 8 City Council Member Paige Ellis said in a statement. "The quality of life in our community would not be as strong and vibrant without heroes like Ophie Garcia and her colleagues."