BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - One of Kaleida Health's longest tenured employees is retiring after decades on the job. Winnie Jones has worked at Children's Hospital for 52 years. Friday is her last day.
In the Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne wrote, "How lucky am I to have someone who makes saying goodbye so hard.'
"Before I made this decision, I cried for a whole month, I really did," Winnie Jones said.
After 52 years, Winnie's coworkers found out something new about the woman they say is the 'captain' of their ship.
"I said on my last day, I'd tell them... I'm 74 years old," Winnie said. "I didn't want them to help me. You know, when they think you're old and you can't do (things). I can outwork a lot of them."
And a lot of them would agree with that.
"If everyone worked like her, it would be utopia here," Liza Gunn-Taylor said.
Winnie started as an aide at the hospital in 1966. She did that for 10 years, and then became a secretary.
"She calls herself a secretary... she's so much more than a secretary," Gunn-Taylor said.
She arrives on the third floor every day for work at 5 a.m., which is one hour before her shift starts. She likes to make sure everything is set for everyone else before they get in.
And when News 4 asked her coworkers how much they'll miss Winnie, there were a lot of tears. The third floor may need some more tissues delivered there before Winnie goes.
"She's like my right hand, my right hand at everything," Joelle Veros said. "She makes it happen here. She is going to be missed."
Winnie is a helper, and she does it with a smile.
She adjusts herself to anyone around her, making others' lives a little easier.
"I don't even know if they know, but I watched them," Winnie said. "I watched them and figured it out. I said, 'oh ok, she doesn't want that piece of paper, I won't give it to her.'"
Many on the floor would say they're lucky... lucky to have had Winnie as a coworker for so long. And they're lucky to have someone who makes saying goodbye so hard.
Winnie said she plans to stay busy during retirement, and maybe do some aerobics. She plans on traveling as well.