80-year-old McDonald’s greeter has no plans to retire

Norma Gaston, 80, has worked as a hostess at McDonald’s for 16 years.

Norma Gaston, 80, has worked as a hostess at McDonald’s for 16 years. Photo by Stephen Brooks.

For years, Norma Gaston has been a familiar face at the McDonald’s on Eastland Drive in Jefferson City. The 80-year-old has worked at the fast food eatery for 16 years as a hostess. She works six days a week for six hours each day.

“I love the customers,” she says. “There is hardly a day that goes by that someone doesn’t say, ‘How many years have you been here?’”

She was a stay-at-home mother and grandmother for her entire life before seeking work outside the home to fill her evenings. Her son-in-law got her a job through his friendship with former Eastland McDonald’s manager Ron Quinn.

Gaston says it was a difficult adjustment to enter the workforce for the first time at age 64.

“I was so nervous,” she says. “I would have quit, but I couldn’t let my son-in-law or the manager down. The longer I stayed, the better I liked it, and now I love it.”

Read the rest of this story and others in the September issue of Active Times, inside the Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, edition of the News Tribune newspaper or view September's Active Times online.

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