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Heroes Among Us: A heroic store greeter in Richmond

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Apr 19, 2023

RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you spend just a few minutes with Kitty Shew, you’ll understand why it seems the entire city of Richmond has fallen in love with this transplant from Birmingham, Alabama.

“My mom died when I was 14 and we moved to Gasden”, recalls Kitty. “Eventually I met my husband and to follow him to eat, I ended up in Richmond, Kentucky in 1970!”

At 92 years young, she’s the spark plug of the Meijer store here and no visit is complete without a friendly ‘hello’ from Miss Kitty.

“You know, she just had this…when you first met her for just a few minutes, you felt like you’d known her your whole life”, says store director Bill Thompson. “She warmed up to ya, she’s just everything Kentucky’s supposed to be.

“She’s as much of the family of Richmond as you can get. If she leaves or she’s not here, they’re comin’ to me. They want to find out what’s going on – ‘where is Miss Kitty?’, Thompson laughs.

For 13 years, she’s been spreading good cheer for five days a week, just recently cutting that down to three days. Her children bring her to work to start smiling at 6:00 a.m. each day.

“I’ve always been a person to wake up and put my feet on the floor and start goin’,” says Kitty.

I was curious and had to ask her, “what do you get out of doing this?”

She replied very matter-of-factly, “it makes me happy.”

You might be wondering – how long does Kitty plan to do this? Well, she and her boss have a plan.

“I asked him, ‘how long are you going to work until you retire?’ He said ‘seven more years.’ I looked at him and I said ‘I hope my body can last that long!’ I think I can. The Lord is on my side!”