At 100, she’s still going strong running Buffalo laundry

Printed from:

For Felimina Rotundo, work may be the elixir of life. At 100, she gets up and goes to work almost every day in Buffalo, New York. And not just part-time or even banker’s hours. Minnie, as she’s known to family and friends, puts in an 11-hour day, Monday through Saturday, according to Buffalo’s WGRZ-TV.

And she’s not sitting behind a desk, either. Rotundo works from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a laundress at the College Laundry Shoppe on the city’s Main Street.

Retire? Not on your life! She says retiring at 75 or older would be okay, but only for health reasons, the television station reports. To her, working is preferable to idly watching the world go by, which she says is a waste of time.

To her son Gary Rotundo, 74, she’s an inspiration.

“I’m 74 and I still can’t retire ’cause she’s still working!” he joked to ABC News. “Honestly, she’s pretty amazing.”

“She’s always enjoyed working, especially talking to new people and meeting new customers,” Rotundo told the network. “She still drives, she still handles all the operations at the laundromat. If you’ve ever met her, you’d understand that her whole persona is just very upbeat and positive.”

Just staying alive until you turn 100 might be enough for most people. But there are others who keep on working.

Carmen Herrera, a Cuban-born artist in New York, was still painting in her Union Square studio last May, when she turned 100. Though trained as an architect and painting for decades – she exhibited work in Paris galleries in the 1940s – she only sold her first painting at 89, according to ArtNet News.

While in her 90s, Herrera’s work became part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Gallery, the website said. She told Deborah Sontag, a New York Times writer, that Paris had left her with a “pictorial vocabulary” all her own.

People living past 100 and working into their 80s and 90s may become much more common over the next several decades, futurist Rohit Talwar told the BBC in London.  Talwar made headlines telling U.K. educators that many 10 or 11-year-olds will hold jobs past 100 and live to 120 or more.

“They might not want to continue at quite the same pace after decades in the workplace,” Talwar told the BBC. “But they will be able to make work fit in with their lifestyles.”

Jobs by then may draw much more heavily on human experience and judgment, as many more physical tasks will be automated, he said, according to the news service. He said by then, the typical worker may have as many as 10 different careers in their lifetime.

Sarah Harper, director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, told the BBC that by then, many of today’s jobs will have disappeared or been taken over by robots and computers. Instead, she said, people will work in roles that can be molded around their personal lives.

For Minnie Rotundo, retirement will only arrive when she can’t walk anymore, she told WGRZ. “She attributes her longevity to her hardworking nature,” her son told ABC. “She says it gives her a purpose, a reason to always wake up in the morning and a reason to always hustle.”