100-Year-Old Celebrates His Birthday by Going Back to Work
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
To some, the word ‘retirement’ is just not in their vocabulary. As people are living longer, they are continuing to work especially if they love their jobs and feel fulfilled by doing them.
Bill Hansen of Hutchinson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in Cherry Hill, New Jersey loved going to work every day where he drove the company car obtaining permits until he retired at the tender age of 97.
“I loved to come to work every day,” Hansen told SNJ Today. “I have to say, I’ve said it a thousand times, I never had a job that I didn’t want to go to work in the morning. I’m blessed.”
For more than 30 years — Hansen spent his days at at work where he was beloved by his fellow employees. He kept in touch with his boss, CEO Fred Hutchinson, who asked what he wanted for his centennial birthday. After just three years of kicking back, Hansen wanted to celebrate the best way he knew how — by going back to work.
Hutchinson granted his birthday wish with an employee agreement.
Hutchinson agreed to pay Hansen $1 for his day of assignments. In the video from Philadelphia television station WTXF, Hutchinson said, “It came down to no company car but a dollar. We struck that agreement.”
Hansen — who retired from his first job at Exxon at 65 — was welcomed back with open arms by the staff. Some of the workers have known him their whole employed lives.
He was greeted, “Welcome back to work.”
Hansen enthusiastically replied, “I’m ready to go to work!”
Bill Hansen had terms before he signed the one-day contract which entailed traveling to his favorite permit towns of Cherry Hill and Pennsauken. As he signed, he joked, “You might have to get me up!”
Hansen’s fellow employees created a giant birthday card in his honor and a cake to mark the momentous occasion.
Some of the salutations said, “To my adopted Dad, Happy birthday.” It was signed, “your adopted son.”
He made lasting impressions on just about everybody — especially the women.
Bill Hansen said, “I’ve got to kiss every girl in the place you know.”
This was Hansen’s third job in his lifetime after 32 years in sales and service at Exxon, and five years with Diamond Fuels. Hansen has no plans to rest on his laurels any time soon. For his next birthday, he hopes to squeeze in another day on the job at Hutchinson — because after all — it’s work that has kept him going.
“I say it again,” Bill Hansen told SNJ Today. “I’ll say it many times, the likes of them kept me alive, going to work those 30-plus years. We’ve had a beautiful life. Life had been a bowl of cherries as far as I’m concerned.”