91-year-old veteran greets customers at supermarket: 'I love what I do'

(ABC News) -- A 91-year-old supermarket employee has been making customers smile since 1993.
 
Archie Fagan, a WWII veteran, enjoys greeting customers at the ShopRite in Flemington, New Jersey -- a job he's worked 40 hours a week for over 20 years.
 
"I love what I do, where I'm at and who I am," Fagan told ABC News today. "I was born in this business as a child 90 years ago and I love this business and I love the people that I care about here and I love the products I sell and it was made for my lifetime."
 
Fagan was born one of eight children on February 8, 1927, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
 
He was drafted out of high school at 17 and served in the U.S. Army from June 1944 until his honorable discharge in December 1946.
 
He served as an interrogator of German prisoners and was also in the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion.
 
Fagan fought in the Battle of the Bulge, helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp and was called to duty as a military observer in the 1946 Nuremberg trials.
 
Later, he was a 1950 graduate of The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania under the GI bill.
 
In 1950, Archie and his brother took over their family's grocery business and remained partners until 1993.
 
"I've been in the food business all my life after that," Fagan said. "My wife is a homemaker. She's not in the best health but she takes care of the home. We love our home."
 
Fagan has been married twice and has four children. He's been with his current wife, Ellen, for 35 years.
 
The couple lives in New Hope, Pennsylvania and Fagan takes the 20-minute drive to and from work each day.
 
He is now acting as a service manager, greeting the customers on the floor.
 
"Archie Fagan is not only a national hero, but also a local treasure who brightens the day of everyone he meets," said Joseph S. Colalillo, president of ShopRite of Hunterdon County.
 
"We are lucky to have Archie as part of the ShopRite of Flemington family, where every day he brings his positive spirit, passion for work and zest for life. Archie sets a shining example of how we all should approach life, work and those around us."
 
When he's not working, Fagan speaks about his WWII experience in his community.
 
He said, "I like to leave some kind of a legacy behind. There's no retirement in my future. I will be here, God willing, until he asks me to leave."

© 2017 Associated Press


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