Many people retire at age 65 – maybe a bit sooner if they've saved well. Some people keep working into their 70's if they love their job.
ABC10 found someone into their job so much, that she's still doing it well into her late 90's.
As you know, Sacramento is home to state government in California. But did you also know that the Sacramento region, which covers four counties, has almost 80,000 state workers? As much as we'd love to do stories about the birthdays and anniversaries of all state employees, ABC10 found one that stood out.
At the Department of General Services at 700 Third Street in West Sacramento, ABC10 met May Lee. Lee is finally retiring on June 21, after serving the state for 75 years. She is 98 years old.
“Why are you retiring, May?” asked ABC10’s Walt Gray.
“I’m not retiring,” replied Lee. "I’ve enjoyed all these years and I still enjoy coming to work. I come four days a week and drive to work every morning and I enjoy people.”
It all started for Lee in 1943 at the State Department of Finance where she worked as an accountant. In 1963, when the Department of General Services was created, Lee came along with it. She officially retired in 1990, yet stayed on as a retired annuitant and volunteer. What it means is Lee has never left the state accounting business that she started in, in 1943.
"At that time, we didn't have air conditioning, no carpeting, no computers. Now, we got computers,” Lee said, when asked what the biggest change she’s noticed over the years.
"She basically finds lost money…from 40 years ago," added co-worker Ann Marie Santana.
Lee is still a big part of office productivity. She's not just a role model, she's there to work; showing the up-and-comers how the old school does it right. She has touched others and traveled well, even having an unplanned meeting with Mother Teresa while stopping by her mission in Calcutta.
"She was having lunch with a big bowl of fruit and [Mother Teresa] said, ‘Help yourself.’ So I sat down a talked to her for a few minutes," Lee recalled.
Wow! The phrase “they don't make 'em like May Lee anymore” is so true. Happy 98th birthday, and, as ABC10 now knows, Lee has no plans to retire.
Continue the conversation with Walt on Facebook.