Super Seniors: Pat Quinn - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Super Seniors: Pat Quinn

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RICHMOND, Vt. -

Richmond Market and Beverage by the numbers: 11 thousand square feet, 40 employees and one Pat Quinn. He's not only the oldest employee (he's in his mid-eighties) but he works the most. Fifty hours a week, never sick and never taking a day off.

"If I went home and sit down and do nothing -- make sure I would have an appointment with the undertaker," Quinn says.

The saying "an inspiration" may be overused in our culture, but Pat is the real deal. He's a meat cutter who knows his stuff.

"I can tell by looking at a piece of meat if it's going to be tender or it's going to to tough," he says.

He's affectionately called a living legend in Richmond and "the Mayor" in his hometown of Jonesville, where he and his wife, Janet, raised six kids. He's got a Porter House-sized smile served with a side of wit.

For Mike Comeau, the owner of the Richmond store, Pat is not only a father figure, but somebody who taught him how to run a store.

"Everybody has a special person they meet in their life that they think is very special and I think Pat is that guy for me," says Comeau.

And in the back of the store, some good natured ribbing... and a lot of beef.

"He cares about everybody, even though he picks on me," says co-worker Betty Jacques jokingly.

Pat wears a smile freely, but that doesn't mean he hasn't had challenges. One happened over 30 years ago.

A fire started in an apartment above his general store in Jonesville. The building was destroyed.

"I had some very good help, they all stuck with me, we all worked together to rebuild it," Quinn says.

Just a month later he had a new store across the street. The man born in the Depression never gave up -- something he learned from his dad.

"He knew what a dollar meant and he worked hard all his life," Quinn says. 

The son and father worked side by side for decades, until the elder Quinn retired at 95.

He sold his second store 15 years later. Since then nobody has been able to make a go of it, and it's now closed.

Next time you've got a hankering for ribs or need a steak cut a certain way, stop in the store.

"I haven't missed a day yet," Quinn says.

More than likely Pat will be there with food and life advice that's like a good cut of meat, tasty and fulfilling.

"He's just an amazing, amazing, amazing man," Comeau says.

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