80 Over Eighty Honoree – Ophie Garcia
Ophie Garcia grew up in South Texas, the daughter of a migrant worker without a formal education. She started working for HEB to help support her family in 1965. She is the longest tenured employee who will be celebrating her 54th anniversary this month. Ophie often states that she went to the University of HEB where she got paid to learn all she needed to know to succeed as one of their most beloved employees. She used her experience to recommend cosmetic products for personal grooming, and medicine for sick babies or the older adults who visited the store. Ophie genuinely cares for others and her passion to serve is an inspiration to all her coworkers at the Oak Hill HEB.
Ophie is not only a greeter at HEB she is a close friend of the family for many of the regular customers. She greets each of them by their first name and asks about a particular member of their family in English or Spanish.
Ophie is passionate about the health and wellbeing of HEB customers. She always looks forward to the second Tuesday of the month when she has the opportunity to translate for the pharmacist. She wants her Spanish customers to feel unafraid while receiving their well checks-ups that often include vaccination shots for the little ones. She wants them to understand that the HEB pharmacist is there to help them.
One of the things that surprises Ophie the most is when people are astonished that she is so knowledgeable about where to find things in the store. At times the guests look at her with amazement when she, (a small senior lady) asks if they (a large burly man) need help. More often than not they do need her help to find something in the store that is her home away from home.
Speaking of home, when Ophie is not at HEB you will find her enjoying time with her husband of 59 years, their four children and her grandchildren.
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Photo by Annie Ray – annieraycreative.com; Instagram – @annieraydotnet