New Jersey man gets wish, returns to work on 100th birthday

March 28, 2017 GMT

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man wanted only one thing for his 100th birthday: to return to his old job.

Hutchinson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in Cherry Hill made Bill Hansen’s wish come true, and on Monday welcomed back the retired permit coordinator. There was a birthday cake and a standing ovation before Hansen got back to work.

CEO Fred Hutchinson agreed to pay him $1 and organized a complete day of assignments.

“He took off about 15 minutes after we signed that agreement to get to work,” Hutchinson told WCAU-TV.

Hansen, of Haddon Township, retired at the age of 97 after working 32 years for the company.

“I hate being retired,” he said.

Hansen went from job to job. His former co-workers wished him a happy birthday throughout the day.

Carl Canfield, the man Hansen trained to replace him, said he only hopes he can aspire to be “half the man” Hansen is.


Hansen, who spent nearly four decades working for other companies, including Exxon, said he was “blessed.”

“I never had a job where I didn’t want to go to work in the morning,” he said.

Hansen attributes his love of work, his wife and family for his happiness. They’re also the motivation for his newest goal.

“To live to see my youngest granddaughter graduate,” Hansen said. “That’ll be in 2024.”