Many Americans may be worried about layoffs, unemployment rates and job searches, but one Minnesota man managed to keep his job for a solid 60 years. Winton Dahlin, 82, retired on Friday after working at the same company in Thief River Falls, Minn., since age 22, the Grand Forks Herald reports.
Dahlin began working for Forsberg’s Inc., a machinery manufacturer, on Oct. 14, 1952, according to the Grand Forks Herald, and he worked full time until two years ago. Dahlin offered a simple explanation to the Herald when asked why he continued working past typical retirement age, saying, “I liked what I was doing, so as long as I was able-bodied and they wanted me around, I figured I’d stay.”
Before cutting his hours back to 20 per week, Dahlin used to arrive three hours early to his scheduled 7 a.m. shift in order to make coffee for his colleagues and complete other “self-appointed duties,” the Herald notes. He still managed to squeeze in eight hours of rest, however, as he unfailingly went to bed at 5 p.m. each day and woke up at 1 a.m. Dahlin’s routine was not completely without change, as he worked for various periods in almost all areas of the factory; he started in the paint shop and ended as the parts manager, according to the Herald.
“Winton grew up on a farm, so he was used to hard work,” Loren Holen, Forsberg’s general manager, told the Grand Forks Herald. “The work ethic was totally different back then. Some people of his generation were lost when they stopped working.”
Owner Denny Bakke also spoke to the Herald about the manufacturer’s longest-serving employee.
“Winton was the most dedicated, company-conscious employee we’ve ever had,” Bakke told the newspaper. “About the only thing he didn’t do was own the place. Up to his last day, he was productive and sharp.”
Did Dahlin ever take a sick day?
“Yeah, I had some problems,” Dahlin admitted to the Herald. “I missed a couple of days of work once, I guess.”
Dahlin labored long past the average age of retirement, which a Gallup poll says is now 67 in the United States. Still, the loyal Forsberg’s employee would have to work for another 20 years to beat the world record for the longest career in the same company.