.cat-links { display: none !important; }
No plans for retirement at age 75

No plans for retirement at age 75

By Sherri Coner

Age is only a number.

Because that is a fact, it is exactly why 75-year-old Brenda Willey doesn’t see retirement as something she wants to even consider.

“I love what I do,” Willey said with a smile. “I love the people I work with, and I love the residents. They are all like family.”

Early every weekday morning, Willey dons a pair of scrubs and drives from her Trafalgar home to Greenwood Village South, where she has worked for 17 years on the second floor as an administrative assistant.

She grew up in Center Grove and lived there with Bob, her husband of 45 years, until he wanted to make the move south.

Shortly after the move, her husband’s health began to decline.

“Bob was sent to a nursing home two weeks after we moved,” she said.

In 2016, Bob passed away.

“And there I was, not really knowing anybody in Trafalgar,” Willey said.

If Bob had remained in good health, she might have considered retirement.

“We loved cruising,” she said with a smile.

But Bob’s not here.

Brenda Willey of Trafalgar, formerly of Center Grove, has worked for 17 years as an administrative assistant at Greenwood Village South. (Photos by Sherri Coner)

Their sons are grown. Their 10 grandchildren are grown.

And their eight great-grandchildren are busy with lots of interests.

When one granddaughter celebrated her 13th birthday, Willey took her on a cruise.

Soon, she will celebrate another granddaughter’s 21st birthday with a cruise.

When there are no milestone birthdays, “I love to go and watch them in their sports,” Willey said. “I love doing things with them.”

When she is alone at home, Willey likes to crochet.

“And I’m doing diamond art now,” she said. “It’s so relaxing.”

If she’s looking for some excitement, Willey watches NASCAR races.

“I also have three tomato plants I’m babying,” she said.

Her church involvement also fills the empty places.

“My church family is so special,” Willey said. “It’s a small church with a big heart.”

In the middle of her 70s, Brenda Willey has been working as an administrative assistant with Greenwood Village South for 17 years and doesn’t plan to retire any time soon.

In a lot of ways, life hasn’t been easy for this fast-moving woman with a big smile.

She lost her only daughter Brandi in 2010.

Willey has also faced several health challenges, such as having both hips replaced, intestine reversal and sinus surgeries.

She doesn’t dwell on those issues, though.

She’s far too busy overcoming the hard parts of aging with a gigantic amount of good old stubborn spirit.

“I went back to work two weeks after my last hip replacement,” Willey said. “I told my doctor, ‘I’m not stayin’ home no more.’”

And she didn’t.

“Now I’m as good as new,” Willey said with a laugh. “I’m like the Energizer Bunny. I just keep going.”

In a few weeks, her office will be relocated, Willey said as she walked down the hall and opened the door to the fresh scent of new carpet and paint.

“I will be right there,” she said with excitement as she pointed toward the rounded reception area. “That’s my desk.”

Willey is also excited that her sister-in-law, Debbie Willey, of Colorado, will soon arrive for a visit.

The women haven’t seen one another in two years.

“I can’t wait to get started cooking for her,” Willey said. “It can be very boring to just cook for one, and I like to cook.”

While her sister-in-law visits other family and friends during the day, Willey will be at work.

When the visit ends and Debbie Willey returns to Colorado, Willey will stay with her weekday plan, which begins every morning around 5 a.m.

“I can’t imagine not working,” she said with a broad smile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *