94-year-old Loraine Maurer has been working at McDonald’s for 44 years and has no plans of retiring anytime soon.
“If you don’t like your job, it’s a job, but I love it,” she tells PEOPLE. “The people, the clientele, that’s why I stuck with it.”
Since 1973, Maurer has worked at a number of locations in Evansville, Indiana. During the winter months, everyone from her fellow McDonald’s coworkers to loyal customers have offered to pick her up and drop her off at home after her shift.
“I know what goes on with them, I know some of their children. Some ask me to say a prayer and I do,” she says. “I know their lives.”
Her work hasn’t gone unnoticed. On Thursday, dozens of people came by the restaurant to celebrate her 44 years of service.
“After all these years, she remains committed to serving her customers with one of the most delightful smiles around. Loraine has a loyal following of customers and they look forward to having her take their orders when visiting McDonald’s,” Chip and Katie Kenworthy, the owners of the McDonald’s store Maurer works at, wrote in a statement.
Maurer — who has four children — has been eating McDonald’s for every shift throughout the decades. On the few occasions that she’s been stuck at home sick it’s been delivered to her house.
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Her favorite meal off their menu?
“The fish sandwich,” she says. “But now I work mornings and there isn’t anything I don’t like. This morning I had a blueberry muffin, two fried eggs and a cup of coffee.”
But at the end the day it’s not the food that keeps her around.
“My customers make my life,” she says. “I have traveled with them, gone to ball games with them. They’re friends, not just customers.”