KFC employee Mary Lou Ausborne describes the fast-food chain’s founder, Harland Sanders, as “a wonderful man” who “never drank, never smoked” and was “just great.”
Ausborne, 80, remembers Sanders, famously known as “The Colonel,” who would have turned 124 this year, because she herself has worked at a KFC restaurant in Michigan for 52 years.
“I went to school in Kentucky for Kentucky Fried Chicken,” Ausborne told WJBK-TV in Detroit “I like being here. I like the people. I like the customers and it’s a very good job.”
As one of the franchise’s longest-serving employees, Ausborne even has a photo with Sanders, who died in 1980.
Ausborne’s boss at the KFC on 10 Mile Road in Southfield, Mich., describes Ausborne much the same way she describes her other boss, Colonel Sanders.
“She’s a good employee and a nice person,” said the franchise’s manager, Grant White, who told GoodMorningAmerica.com that Ausborne was working the lunch shift today and unavailable for comment.
White says the restaurant recognized Ausborne’s 52 years of service to KFC by giving her a plaque and a dinner at a local restaurant, not KFC.
“Yes they do,” White said when asked whether customers know and love Ausborne. “She works the cash register.”
Ausborne, whose daughter has worked at the same KFC with her mom for the past 34 years, used to be a manager at the restaurant but then went back to serving customers, she told WJBK.
White says he doesn’t anticipate his longest-serving employee retiring “anytime soon.”
“But that’s something that she’s got to decide,” he said.
For Ausborne, she told WJBK she is not sure what she would do with herself if she wasn’t working.
“What would I do at home, you know?”