Lillibridge doesn’t let age stop him from working

| July 6, 2018

Neal Lillibridge is pictured outside of Rural King where he works as a sales associate. The 94-year-old has worked his whole life so he figured why stop now? Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Neal Lillibridge has worked his whole life so he figured why stop now at the age of 94?

“There is a limit to how much fishing and traveling you can do,” he said.

Lillibridge is a sales associate at Rural King on Second Street, where he’s been employed for about three weeks.

“The job I got hired for was to water plants, but that only takes me about an hour to an hour and a half now so I work on odd jobs inside,” he said.

Lillibridge was born and raised in Tyndall with his seven brothers and five sisters. His first job was helping his father in the garden. When he got older he worked for the railroad, the Carnation Company, American Artworks, GE and The Beach Company.

“I wasn’t with the railroad too long because it was too hot and too cold, but I was with the Carnation Co. for 29 years and six months,” Lillibridge said. “I didn’t like GE when I went there so I went back to Carnation. It closed though so from there I went to The Beach Company.”

He put in another 29 years at The Beach Company, but even after all that time he still wasn’t ready to retire.

“I was the press room foreman and was 93 when I left,” Lillibridge said. “The only reason I left was because of my age they were afraid I might get hurt. Work’s all I’ve known though so I have no regrets about going back.”

In addition to being a hard worker, Lillibridge also is a U.S. Army veteran. He was drafted while working at Carnation and served in Europe during World War II.

“I was with the Army engineers and was in for four years,” Lillibridge said. “We repaired things and made pontoon bridges.”

His 147th Engineering Combat Battalion landed at Normandy.

“There were bullets flying all around you there,” Lillibridge said. “I lost a bunch of real close buddies that day.”

He was a Buck Sergeant and got along with most people he served with and still prides himself on getting along with others.

“That’s because of church,” Lillibridge said. “I was introduced to Central Christian Church when I was 13 years old by a little girl who I ended up marrying when I was 20. We had our tough times, but we got through them because we had church. I think any man or woman can get through their problems if they look toward Jesus Christ to help solve them.”

He lost his first wife when she was in her late 40s, but ended up marrying her sister, who passed away at the age of 87.

“I was in the family for 71 years,” Lillibridge said.

He has two sons, Ronald and John and is affectionately known to many as Uncle Neal.

“All in all I’ve had a good life,” Lillibridge said. “I don’t dwell on the past. I wake up and think about tomorrow.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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