Rice Lake Man Still Working 59 Years Later

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After more than a half century on the job, Les Gunderson is still pounding away.

"The more I knock off the less I have to sandblast," he said.

And with 59 years of experience, short cuts, won't cut it with him.

"Instead of bolting them down like their supposed to do, they cemented the whole thing right on. It's supposed to be a short cut but it doesn't hold up very well and it's harder than the dickens to get off of there, so I pound, pound, pound," Gunderson said.

At 86 and still working, he's not only a model of longevity, he's a model employee too.

His career as a scale mechanic began at Rice Lake Weighing Systems in 1948, he was the company's first employee and hasn't looked back since.

Third generation CEO Mark Johnson Jr grew up watching Gunderson work and says his dedication is amazing.

"He seems to outlast anybody that's been put by his side," Johnson said.

"One of the first jobs that I had when I joined them, was washing a whole bunch of scale parts like those greasy ones over there, we'd wash em' in a wash for about a week," Gunderson said.

Now, he works in this field called the bone yard, a warehouse of parts only he oversees.

"I fixed all these red levers now they're ready to be shipped, somebody breaks one or something like that and they can get them in here the next day so their scale is back in order," Gunderson said.

Everyday he delivers, working rain, snow or shine.

"He's still dedicated to his job, still works everyday, doesn't even use all his vacation every year," Johnson said.

"Oh I don't know, you seem like you learn something every day, it's a poor day if you don't learn something everyday, something new," Gunderson said.

So this humble worker plans to keep chiseling away.

"I figured I might as well do something constructive if I could and I think it's, I hope it's making me young see, that's kind of what I'm working for," he said.