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Churchill Downs server celebrates 65 years on the job

Jan Loftus has worked at the track since 1954

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- When she started as a server at Churchill Downs Dwight Eisenhower was president, a stamp set you back a whole three cents and gas cost 22 cents per gallon.

The year was 1954 and Jan Loftus was 15-years-old.

Decades have passed, but her dedication has only grown deeper.

Sixty-five years is a heck of a long time to have any job, let alone the same one. It's even more impressive when you think about how much history Jan has witnessed in her time here. The Stakes Room is a spot Jan Loftus knows well.Then again, she's got all of Churchill Downs down pat.

"I worked out in the infield, and it rained. It was the year Determined won the Derby, and I've been determined to work every year since," Loftus said.

That commitment is commendable and her charisma can't be contested. Her longstanding, superb service makes her a Derby staple.

"In my obituary, my first line is going to read, 'Jan was called to post on such and such day,' and the last line is going to read, 'Jan finally made last call,'" Loftus said.

She's served just about everyone, even Queen Elizabeth. The celebrity sightings are sweet, but Jan relishes her regulars. Even the sassy ones.

"I remember once years ago when a person was rude, and I said you know I've got a hot coffee pot in my hand," Loftus said.

From her head, hands, and heart, that Jan joy gets served up one smile at a time.

"As long as I can do it, I'll do it. When I can't do it anymore, then it'll be time to go. Then maybe I can come out and be a customer.," Loftus said.

Jan works about four months a year and likes to go to Florida in her free time.
One more fun fact for you: Jan once had a customer name a horse after her, appropriately named Red Headed Jan.