Betty Collette is proof that retail jobs are not throwaways.

The Michigan woman, who started at J.C. Penney back in 1950 selling women’s dresses, has retired after a long career with the company. At 91-years-old, Collette has a secret to lasting so long at one job.

Her son explains, "My mother never thought of work as work," said Judge William Collette of Ingham County Circuit Court. "She has always enjoyed working, and it has been a huge part of her life. She would get up, go to work, wait on people and enjoy seeing customers. This was kind of like other people going to an exercise club or something like that."

Collette worked her way all the way up to manager, then became a buyer for the chain. At the 40 year mark she wanted to retire, but the company kept her on…so she stayed until now.

"I would have left long ago if I didn't love it," Betty Collette said. "It seems like yesterday. It's been a wonderful journey. The company has been so good to me. I can't complain one bit."

Collette was feted with a party featuring balloons, confetti and a plastic crown, which was placed on her head as if she were a beauty queen, which she may have been, as she believed in being well dressed every day on the job.

"Betty wore heels up until that very last day," Karen Brown, J.C. Penney general manager told the Lansing State Journal. "She may have shortened the heel a little, but they were still heels."