New Jersey resident Archie Fagan may have served in World War II, but the 90-year-old loves his job making customers smile at a local supermarket and has no plans to stop.
Fagan has been working at the ShopRite in Flemington since 1993, and he continues to put in 40 hours per week at the grocery store.
“I love what I do, where I’m at and who I am,” Fagan told ABC News. “I was born in this business as a child 90 years ago and I love this business and I love the people that I care about here and I love the products I sell and it was made for my lifetime.”
Fagan was drafted into the war out of high school at the age of 17, beginning his service in the army in June 1944. He was honorably discharged more than two years later after serving as an interrogator of German prisoners and fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, where he helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp.
Fagan was even called to duty as a military observer in the Nuremburg Trials in 1946.
The hardworking ShopRite employee was born on Feb. 8, 1927 in Philadelphia to Jewish immigrants and was one of eight children, WCBS reported. After the war, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1950 and, along with his brother, took over the family’s grocery business that same year.
“I’ve been in the food business all my life after that,” Fagan said.
Fagan and his brother remained partners until 1993, the same year he began working at ShopRite, where he is now a service manager.
— Kayla Mamelak (@KaylaMamelak) February 28, 2017
“Archie Fagan is not only a national hero, but also a local treasure who brightens the day of everyone he meets,” said Joseph S. Colalillo, president of ShopRite of Hunterdon County.
Colalillo added that the store is “lucky” to have Fagan.
“..Every day he brings his positive spirit, passion for work and zest for life,” he said. “Archie sets a shining example of how we all should approach life, work and those around us.”
Fagan, who just celebrated his 90th birthday last month, is a local celebrity in New Jersey, and local newspapers and T.V. stations seem to cover his every move.
The beloved community staple is constantly being honored by his neighbors . He has served as Grand Marshall for the Flemington Holiday Parade in 2015 and received the Quilt of Valor for his dedication and service in World War II, NJ.com reported.
— Visit Hunterdon (@VisitHunterdon) November 24, 2015
— ShopRite Newsroom (@ShopRiteNews) March 16, 2016
In September, a local Boy Scouts chapter presented him with the Citizen of the Year award.
Boy Scouts to honor Hunterdon County's own Archie Fagan https://t.co/CMxoMY7ywR
— HCSports Performance (@HCSportsPerform) September 19, 2016
He was even listed on WCBS’ list of “50 People to Know,” which was released last week, and appeared in a Hallmark commercial.
Customers rave about the store’s goodwill ambassador on a regular basis. Fagan has been known to not only remembers the names of regular customers but continues to ask about the wellbeing of their entire family during the greeting. Sometimes he’ll announce specials over the loudspeaker as well.
In his spare time outside of work, Fagan gives talks about World War II around his community. He does not plan to retire any time soon.
“I like to leave some kind of a legacy behind. There’s no retirement in my future,” Fagan said. “I will be here, God willing, until he asks me to leave.”
The veteran is sheer proof that doing what you love keeps you young at heart.
(H/T: ABC News)
Other Must-Read Stories:
—Even if You Hate Starbucks, You’ll LOVE What They’re Doing for Veterans Right Now
—The Awesome Reason This Veteran is Venturing into War Zones in Search of Dogs
—WATCH: Taylor Swift Surprises 96-year-old World War II Veteran for Christmas
—George W. Bush’s Remarkable Tribute to American Veterans Who Carried Out His Orders
—Navy Couple’s Inspiring Veterans Day Photo Captures the Strength of Military Families