AROUND NJ

97-year-old veteran still hard at work at local grocery store

BY Leah Mishkin, Correspondent |

Inside the Stop & Shop in Edison, at the bagging station in aisle seven is where you’ll find 97-year-old Bennie Ficeto. While he’s typically all business, even dismissing comments from his boss that he should sit down and take breaks during his four-hour, twice-a-week shifts, this is no ordinary week — Bennie is celebrating a birthday.

To show appreciation for their co-worker, Edison Stop and Shop employees threw the World War II veteran a surprise party for his turning 98. The challenge, however, wasn’t to keep the party a secret but to figure out how to get the birthday boy to stop working while on the clock.

After the initial surprise, Ficeto’s co-workers further surprised him with a performance from the USO Show Troupe, which set Ficeto’s feet tapping. Soon after, he was recounting stories about his time in what was then the Army Air Force.

“I love working in here. I love the people in here. And the people that work with me. You can’t find that all over the place,” said Ficeto.

The soon-to-be 98-year-old headed right back over to his station after cutting the cake. He doesn’t plan to slow down anytime soon, telling reporters he’s going to wait until he turns 100 to retire.