Her First Job

She joined the workforce at age 68!

Posted in , May 1, 2008

At an age when most people retire, Edith Felasco took home her first paycheck. The only job she had known for 50 years was housewife. But her twin sons died in their 20s of multiple sclerosis, and since her husband, Lawrence, passed away, she'd dedicated her time helping friends, family or parishioners at church.

So when a friend asked if Edith could take her shift for a week at Patsy's Inn Italian Restaurant, she agreed.

"I'd never done waitressing in my life," says Edith, a Denver, Colorado, native, who lives in the house where she was born. She caught on quickly and discovered that she really enjoyed the job.

When her friend decided to leave for good, Edith happily accepted the four-hour lunchtime shift. That was 16 years ago, and though she's now 84, Miss Edith (as she's affectionately called at the restaurant) shows no signs of hanging up her order pad.

"I don't like to have nothing to do," says Edith. She goes to church every morning, and gets to the restaurant a half hour early to catch up with her coworkers and customers who have become friends. Wednesday night is choir practice and Fridays she plays bocce with her nephew. And she still runs errands for ailing church members.

W.B. Coit, Patsy's Inn's general manager, says the restaurant definitely needs her. "She's fantastically energetic. She's never met a stranger. She has a great zest for life that is rare for anyone—not just seniors. She's a jewel!"

Edith loves making new customers feel at home. Her regulars are like family. Like Jim, John, Joe and Peter, four brothers who have come to see her for years. Isn't it time to retire? "Oh no," says Edith. "I wouldn't have it any other way."

Edith's Tips

1. Serve with a smile.  

A smile turns a customer into a friend.

2. Never say never. 
I'd never had a job. But I gave it a shot and I'm so glad!

3. Focus on people more than work. 
Customers and coworkers make my day.

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