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Woman retired but willing to pitch in

December 13, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

WILLIAMSPORT - Officially, Fannie Landis worked her last day in the dietary department at Williamsport Retirement Village on Thanksgiving Day.

"I worked so others could be off," Landis said.

And even though she's now retired, Landis said she probably would "wander over" on Christmas Day to see if she can be of help.

Landis, 73, said she was in her early 30s with five children and a husband who had been laid off from his job when she first sought employment at Williamsport Retirement Village.

In those days, there was a nursing home where the Williamsport Retirement Village complex is now. That nursing home was owned by a family, one of whom was director of nursing, Landis said.

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She initially was hired as a floater, which meant she worked wherever she was needed, sometimes working in the laundry or as a nursing assistant.

"At that time, I earned $1 an hour and was paid just once a month," Landis said.

After about eight years, Landis took the job of a woman who was on maternity leave from her job in the kitchen. She stayed there for the next 34 years.

A widow for the past 2 1/2 years, Landis had seven children, two of whom have died. Now she has five children, six grandchildren and four greatgrandsons.

A resident of Marlowe, W.Va., Landis is active in a Red Hat Society, a senior group in Marlowe and Corning retirees, the company for which her late husband worked for many years in Martinsburg, W.Va.

And if that wasn't enough, Landis is involved with a quilting group in Bedington, W.Va.

"We are like one big happy family in the kitchen," Landis said.

Two of her daughters and a granddaughter also worked at Williamsport Retirement Village.

She said she would go back if needed, even after the holidays.

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