90-yr-old Dillard’s Employee Retires After 74 Years

A Dillard’s store in Texas is saying goodbye to a longtime employee, as she retires after nearly 74 years of service.

A Dillard’s store in Texas is saying goodbye to a longtime employee, as she retires after nearly 74 years of service.

Dillards Employee Says Goodbye

Melba Mebane, 90, started working as an elevator operator at the department store in Tyler in 1949.

At that time, it wasn’t even called Dillard’s; that change occurred in 1956.

In her decades-long employment, Melba worked in several departments, including menswear, before moving to cosmetics, where she served the rest of her career.

“Melba sets the tone for everything, every expectation, every customer service quality that we look for in a luxury experience,” James Saenz, store manager of Dillard’s in Tyler, said.

“She provides all of it to the team. Can you imagine how many people she coached, taught, and trained to aspire to be more?”

“It’s just amazing to think of how many people’s lives she touched,” he added. 

“She’s not just a salesperson. She’s a mother. She guides you. She gives you advice on life. She’s amazing.”

Melba Worked For 74 Years at Dillards

Melba Mebane said she enjoyed working with “great ladies who love to eat, laugh and cut up,” in a statement she shared.. 

“I loved everybody there,” gushed Mebane, “and I loved to go to work every day.” But this has been a long time coming. “Most of the fellow employees had all retired,” she further revealed, “and it was kind of a new generation. So, she decided, ‘May be time to go do something fun.’”

That “something fun” will include eating good food, resting at last, and getting in some exciting traveling in.

After some health issues kept her off the job for some weeks, Melba Mebane decided maybe 90 was a good age to retire.

“Father Time got the best of her,” Terry Mebane said. “And it made her realize that she wasn’t at 100%. She said, ‘I just turned 90, I’m not driving and most of my friends aren’t here anymore.’ Things became more transaction-oriented and it was just different. You know, [other employees are] 25 or 35 — and she’s the old lady up at the front. But they loved her once they got to know her. Everybody in the mall knew her.”

Co-Workers Enjoyed Working With Her

The vice president of Dillard’s, Drue Dillard Matheny, attended the party. She has known Melba Mebane for 65 years.

“She is the happiest, most ‘up’ person, gives so much service to the community. She’s made so many friends. I would come watch her in cosmetics and just go, ‘I wish I could be like that’ because she was incredible with people. Still is,” Matheny said.

“She really enjoyed the conversations with the people,” shared her son, Terry. For her unrelenting dedication, Mebane was presented with a certificate of excellence, as the longest-working employee there.

“We love you,” said Matheny. “You’ve been one of the most important people at Dillard’s for 70 years, and we love you and God bless you.”

The company also issued Mebane a certificate of excellence for being its longest-working employee.

Congratulations, Melba Mebane!

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