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56 years of service: Austin great grandmother honored as longest-running H-E-B employee

Ofelia Garcia has worked for the Texas grocery chain for 56 years, most of them at the original Oak Hill H-E-B.

AUSTIN, Texas — A longtime Oak Hill resident and H-E-B's longest-running retail employee in the history of the grocery chain was honored Wednesday for her many years of service. 

Austin City Councilmember Paige Ellis presented 84-year-old Ofelia Garcia with a proclamation declaring Dec. 22, 2021, as Ofelia Garcia Day in the City of Austin. 

“We can never do enough to honor the sustaining contributions of our frontline retail employees,” said Ellis. “The quality of life in our community would not be as strong and vibrant without heroes like 'Ophie' Garcia and her colleagues.”

Ellis presented the proclamation to Garcia at the Oak Hill H-E-B, located at 7901 U.S. 290, on Wednesday. She was joined by her husband of over 60 years and her grandchildren.

Garcia, or "Ophie" as she's known by many, has worked the H-E-B for 56 years, most of them at the original Oak Hill "Y" location. She has also lived in the Oak Hill area for 32 years.

During her time with the grocery chain, Garcia became a notable figure in the community for her dependability and advice to customers and co-workers. A release from Ellis' office reported that Garcia rarely called in sick and insisted on working during weather emergencies and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the photo below, she's pictured with Charles Butt, the CEO of H-E-B.

Credit: Dominque Newland
Ofelia “Ophie” Garcia has worked at H-E-B for 56 years, which makes her the longest-serving employee of Texas’ beloved grocery chain. The City of Austin honored her by officially proclaiming Dec. 22 as “Ofelia Garcia Day.” Ophie, a great-grandmother, was joined by her husband of 60 years and her grandchildren.

She retired after more than half a century on the job in August 2021. 

Garcia is also a longtime member of Saint Catherine's Catholic Church. She has four children, 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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