‘I feel I’m the lucky one’: McDonald’s employee turns 100 years old with no plans to retire
IRWIN, Pa. - Ruth Shuster is as much a staple at a Pennsylvania McDonald’s as the Big Mac, and she celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday with no plans to quit her job at the fast food restaurant anytime soon.
"It doesn’t feel any different," Shuster told FOX Television Stations after her co-workers threw her a party.
The centenarian started working at the Big Mac Museum McDonald’s in Irwin in 1994 when she was 73 years old. Before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered restaurants and indoor dining, Shuster greeted and helped customers, quickly becoming a local treasure. With dining rooms still closed, she helps out where needed and works to boost employees’ morale.
"They’re nice to work for, and I’m lucky they keep me here at my age," she said. "I feel I’m the lucky one."
She said retiring isn’t even on her radar. "No way at all. I don’t even think of that," she said.
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One of Shuster’s favorite interactions with customers is singing. Before the pandemic, she would join in and sing with customers every Friday.
"There’s about 30 that come in and they all drink coffee and eat and we sing," she continued. "We sing any song."
Shuster grew up in North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She graduated from high school in 1938 and worked as a seamstress and an employee at the A&P grocery store before working at McDonald’s.
For her birthday, the restaurant installed an outdoor mailbox for customers to drop off birthday cards.
Shuster said there’s no magic formula for living a long life.
"I have no secret. I just live one day at a time," she said.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.