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Safeway employee retires from Hamilton store after 48 years

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Apr 26 2013 08:39:28 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 26 2013 10:36:07 PM MDT
HAMILTON, Mont. -

If you're a frequent customer at Hamilton's Safeway, chances are good you will recognize, and maybe even know Harmon Hansen.

Working at the same job for almost 48 years is something to celebrate. When you're in the public, serving people every day, for that long, you leave an impression.

Harmon Hansen probably could have taken it easy on his last day before retirement. But old work habits are hard to break, and he worked just as hard as he always does.

"It's been a good job, that's why I stuck it out for so long," said Hansen.

Customers streamed in all day wishing him well.

Harmon managed the dairy department for 35 years. But he worked in produce, frozen foods, in every single department except meat. He can run a cash register in his sleep.

People wait in line for Harmon.

He started as a box boy after school. But he went full-time when he became a husband and father. He was still a teenager.

He said his philosophy is to always be in a good mood. Leave your bad mood at home, said Hansen. He doesn't just see customers, he sees friends.

"A lot of people just love to come in and talk," said Harmon.

His wife, his high school sweetheart, has been with him every step of the way.

"It's an emotional run. It really is," said Hansen, "And I'm so proud."

It's Harmon Hansen's last day at Safeway. It's Glen McLane's first day.

"He's been here forever, and I'm glad to learn from him," said Hansen.

He received a congratulatory call from one of Safeway's top executives. No more 5 a.m. shifts. Harmon is hanging up his apron to go fishing.