Sunday 25 August 2019

Oldest supermarket worker (94) dies just two months after retiring

Undated handout photo issued by Sainsbury's of Reg Buttress, 94, thought to be the UK's oldest supermarket worker, who has died at the age of 94 two months are retiring. Photo: Sainsbury's/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by Sainsbury's of Reg Buttress, 94, thought to be the UK's oldest supermarket worker, who has died at the age of 94 two months are retiring. Photo: Sainsbury's/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A "much-loved colleague" thought to be the UK's oldest supermarket worker has died at the age of 94 - two months after he retired.

Reg Buttress worked at Sainsbury's in Cwmbran, south Wales, for over three decades and became a well-known and liked figure in the store.

Undated handout photo issued by Sainsbury's of Reg Buttress, 94, thought to be the UK's oldest supermarket worker, who has died at the age of 94 two months are retiring. Photo: Sainsbury's/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by Sainsbury's of Reg Buttress, 94, thought to be the UK's oldest supermarket worker, who has died at the age of 94 two months are retiring. Photo: Sainsbury's/PA Wire

He retired - for the second time - in September on his 94th birthday.

A spokeswoman for the supermarket chain said: "Reg was a much loved colleague and an inspiration to all of us.

"Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time. He will be missed."

Mr Buttress started working at Sainsbury's in 1981 at the age of 57.

He retired for the first time aged 65 but asked to return part-time a short while later because he became bored.

Mr Buttress's working life started 81 years before his eventual final retirement when he worked as a collier's help in the mines.

Speaking to Wales Online in August, he said his favourite part about working in Sainsbury's was meeting people and having them tell him their stories.

"I enjoy my work and meeting the people that come in," he said. "I enjoy coming to work, I always have.

"I've had a job since I was 13, I was never out of work."

On September 22, Mr Buttress donned a bow tie and shirt for his retirement party at the store and said goodbye to colleagues and customers.

In a video about the special event, Sainsbury's said Mr Buttress was a legend who, as one of the company's longest serving employees, had known some customers most of their lives.

Mr Buttress was also known to wear fancy dress for charity and at Halloween and Christmas.

PA Media

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