Bennie Ficeto, a 98-year-old WWII veteran, still works as a grocery store bagger in New Jersey. So, when Ficeto’s 98th birthday rolled around, his coworkers knew that they had to throw him a surprise party! Here’s the amazing story of their wonderful deed…
Meet Bennie Ficeto, The 98-Year-Old Grocery Store Bagger
Some people retire to lead a quiet, unassuming life, after decades of hard work and early morning. Others decide to travel the globe and experience all the places and thing they missed out on in their youth. However, a select few seniors just want to keep on working, for as long as their body and mind will let them!
One of those incredible individuals is Bartholomeo “Bennie” Ficeto, who just celebrated his 98th birthday. Ficeto works as a bagger at a local Stop and Shop in Edison, New Jersey twice a week, four hours per shift, and refuses to take his 15-minute breaks – “Why would I take a break when I only work four hours?” he asked. Ficeto loves his job, and his employers and customers love him back. He’s always smiling, helping others, or cracking hilarious jokes.
Fiercely loyal, Fiecto has remained an employee for over a decade, never missing a shift or coming in late. Still, his determination and self-discipline do not surprise those closest to him. Ficeto loves hard work and has, ever since his youth. A veteran, the senior flew missions on a B-25 Mitchell during World War II. His service taught him everything he knows about hard work and gratitude.
An Incredible Surprise
When the WWII vet‘s 98th birthday came around, the store employees knew they had to celebrate Ficeto in the best way they knew how: throwing a red, white and blue themed birthday party for him. In the emotional video, you can see Ficeto entering the store, coming in for his usual shift and not suspecting a thing. Once inside, his coworkers yelled, “Surprise!” and started playing the vet’s favorite songs. This whole gesture brought the man to tears; he said in an interview, he never expected it.
His coworkers did not stop there, however! Beforehand, they decorated the entire store and laid out treats for the staff and customers. Everyone felt so happy to celebrate this wonderful man, showering him with hugs and well-wishes. A regular shopper, Darlene Healey, said, “He’s just so sweet. We always tease him and talk to him. Every time we come in, we give him a hug.” The store manager Sal Marconi also praised Fecito. “He’s become a local celebrity, so we want to give it back to him and throw him this party. He deserves it.”
Going For 100
However, before the party ended, the shop had one more surprise for its oldest worker. They arranged for a fellow veteran to come, who thanked Ficeto for his hard work and service. “You earned your keep,” he said to him. Ficeto, being who he is, passed on his own birthday cake and wanted to get back to work.
If you wondered what Ficeto’s plans for the future are – it’s simple: keep working, and keep doing what he loves. He’s thinking of retiring at the age of a 100 (!). “I’ve gotta work. If not, you get senile,” he said. “At my age, you just can’t sit around… I’m going for 100. If I make 100, I’ll be satisfied,” the 98-year-old bagger said.