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Wendy’s worker celebrates 90th birthday — at work

Posted: February 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Maxine Coleman, left, shares a moment with her grandson Eron Coleman, 29, of Fort Worth, Texas, as they enjoy cake for her 90th birthday at Wendy’s in Saugus on Friday.

 


When Maxine Coleman turned 90 Friday, she was surrounded by friends and family, but also by her coworkers at Wendy’s on Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus.

Coleman has been working as a hostess at Wendy’s for almost 24 years — and she doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon.

“I have no intention of quitting,” Coleman said. “They’d have to fire me.”

Coleman’s imminent departure from Wendy’s doesn’t appear likely as the owner of the fast-food restaurant, the store manager and Coleman’s coworkers teamed up to throw her a surprise birthday party after her shift on Friday.

Along with receiving more than a dozen flower arrangements, Coleman was also handed a proclamation from Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich thanking her for her service.

Her grandson Eron Coleman flew in from Fort Worth, Texas, specifically for the birthday party. He surprised her at Wendy’s before the official party started.

While enjoying her sugar- and fat-free cake on Friday, Coleman said she started working at Wendy’s on a dare but continued because she likes the people.

“I like being around people, especially the young people,” Coleman said. “I enjoy every minute of it.”

Bouquet Canyon Wendy’s General Manager David Durrett said Coleman is one of his most devoted employees and arrives at 10 a.m. each weekday in preparation for her 11 a.m. shift.

“She’s the most reliable person I know,” Durrett said. “She’s always on time.”

Coleman is great at making students from Saugus High School behave, Durrett said.

“She keeps them all in line,” he said.

One of the things Coleman is best known for at Wendy’s is handing out peppermints to customers.

Louetta Price, a Valencia resident who eats at the Bouquet Canyon Wendy’s on a regular basis, said she came by Friday to wish Coleman a happy birthday.

“She’s always very happy and smiling and ready to give me a mint,” Price said about Coleman. “I do respect her and think she’s very sweet.”

Coleman has a simple explanation for continuing to work at Wendy’s into her ninth decade.

“I think it keeps me young,” she said.

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