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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

90-Year Old Melba Mebane Retires After 74 Years Without taking a single leave on work


A remarkable story emerged from Texas, where a 90-year-old woman captured headlines for her incredible dedication to work. Melba Mebane, hailing from Texas, recently retired from her position at Dillard’s department store, marking 74 years of service without ever missing a day or calling in sick.

The Early Years:

Ms Mebane’s journey began in 1949 when she started her career as an “elevator girl” at the Mayer & Schmidt department store in Tyler, Texas. Back then, department stores were bustling with activity and were at the heart of communities, providing employment opportunities for many. Ms Mebane’s commitment and work ethic quickly became apparent, setting the stage for an extraordinary career.

Transition to Dillard’s:

In 1956, Dillard’s acquired the Mayer & Schmidt store, and Ms Mebane smoothly transitioned her role to working in men’s clothing and cosmetology. This change presented new opportunities for growth and development, allowing her to expand her skill set and contribute to different areas of the store

Exemplary Customer Service:

According to Fox News, James Saenz, the store manager of Dillard’s in Tyler, spoke highly of Ms Mebane, stating that she set the standard for everything, exemplifying exceptional customer service and luxury experiences. With an impressive 65-year-long connection, Mr Saenz described her as an outstanding salesperson and a motherly figure to her colleagues. Ms Mebane offered guidance, support, and life advice, nurturing and inspiring those around her to reach greater heights.

Joy in Work:

In an interview with ABC affiliate KAKE, Ms Mebane expressed her fondness for everyone at the store and the joy she derived from going to work each day. Her positive attitude and passion for her job were infectious, creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere for customers and fellow employees. She formed meaningful connections and lasting friendships throughout her career, improving her overall job satisfaction.

Retirement and Future Plans:

After retiring, Ms Mebane plans to rest well, travel, and indulge in delicious food, savouring her newfound freedom. Her retirement marks the end of an era at Dillard’s, with her absence leaving a void that will be challenging to fill. Her colleagues and customers will miss her warm smile, caring nature, and dedication to exceptional service.

Honoring a Legacy:

Recognizing her outstanding achievements and steadfast dedication, we commemorate her remarkable contributions and unwavering resolve. On Saturday, the store held a celebration where they recognized Ms Mebane as their longest-serving employee. She received a certificate of excellence, acknowledging her outstanding contributions to the store and the community. This recognition highlighted her immense impact on colleagues and customers throughout her illustrious career.

A Heartwarming Journey:

Ms Mebane’s story goes beyond her professional achievements. As a single mother, she successfully raised her son, Terry, who has now pursued a career as a financial advisor. Terry fondly mentioned that Dillard’s employees regarded his mother as the “heart of the store.” Ms Mebane’s close relationship with the corporate leadership, including members of the Dillard family, speaks volumes about her character and impact on those around her.


Melba Mebane’s extraordinary work dedication and 74 years of service at Dillard’s have left an indelible mark on the company and the community. Her unwavering commitment to exceptional customer service, mentorship, and creating meaningful connections is a testament to her character and work ethic. Ms Mebane’s retirement signifies the conclusion of an era, and future generations will cherish her as a source of inspiration.


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