A 103-year-old Georgia woman who is still employed at a job where she works every day credits her work for her longevity.
Ethel Stevenson, who has held down many jobs since the age 13, works every day at the Ethel V. Stevenson Senior Center in Ecorse—a building that bears her name to honor her 60-year career at the community center, WJBK reported.
Ethel told WJBK that her job is to coordinate senior transportation, and sometimes sees senior citizens younger than her at her job complaining about getting old.
“If nothing’s wrong getting old, they should be thankful. That’s what I tell them,” Ethel said before bursting out laughing.
The centenarian has lived in Georgia since birth, and moved with her family to Ecorse at age ten. She has outlived all 11 of her siblings, her husband, and two sons.
Ethel said her secret to longevity consists of trusting God, “treating people right, doing what I can to help everybody,” and eating healthy—which she says she has done since 1948. But she also credits her job for giving her a purpose in life.
Her boss even says that the sprightly 103-year-old is a reliable employee.
“She’s real diligent about being on time all of that kind of stuff,” says Lucille King, the senior center director. “She doesn’t want to miss a day when it is bad outside. We say, ‘Ethel, maybe you shouldn’t come out today,’ and she says, ‘Oh, no, I’m coming in today.'”
The Ecorse Senior Center Birthday Club will throw a birthday party in her honor next week, and Ethel says that her one wish for her birthday is for people to help each other.
“Encourage people to be neighbors to one another. Do what you can to help your neighbor,” she says. “We don’t look for color; we don’t care what color. They can be red, blue, black, green and purple. It wouldn’t make any difference. If they are human, that’s what we like.”
Ethel says she has just started to think about retirement, although she does not plan on quitting her job anytime soon.
Other centenarians who still work credit their jobs for their longevity. The Washington Post profiled two female centenarians in the Washington, DC, area in 2015—one worked as a caterer, and the other worked as an artist. Both women said their jobs kept them going and is the secret to their longevity.
Even if they do not have jobs, many centenarians remain active in their golden years. A 101-year-old Holocaust survivor celebrated her birthday in November by hitting the elliptical.