85-year-old McDonald’s employee works through retirement

Posted at 5:53 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 17:53:59-05

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. – Age is just another number for 85-year-old Joyce Brinningstaull, who’s been a permanent fixture at the Lake Odessa McDonald’s for more than two decades.

Well known and liked in the community, her customers say the only thing better than getting McDonald’s breakfast, is catching a smile from Joyce. Co-workers are quick to tell you the 85-year-old is one of the hardest working employees on the payroll.

“Oh yeah, and she always works with a smile on her face,” said Keith Berg, owner of the Lake Odessa McDonald’s. “We don’t want to have favorites by any means, but this is someone everyone really enjoys being around.”

Brinningstaull, of Lake Odessa has been a hard worker all her life. She grew up on a farm, married and worked alongside her husband Alden, and today works five days a week as a dishwasher at McDonald’s.

Joyce is a mother of two sons with two granddaughters and nine great-grandchildren, but her coworkers consider Brinningstaull part of the “McFamily.” Which is why it was a shock when Joyce announced her retirement in 2014.

“I worked here a little over 17 years and then I looked to retire at the end of 2014,” said Brinningstaull.

But two years later, she decided she missed her “McFamily” too much, returning to the same place of work she retired from.

“I got bored so I came back to work in October of 2016,” Brinningstaull said. “I enjoy being with people. That’s one reason I came back to work because I’m alone and I wanted to be with people.”

Brinningstaull is now a staple in the Lake Odessa community. Joyce says she has no plans but hopes to continue working until the day comes that she can’t.