GROVETOWN, Ga (WJBF) – Ron King is the manager at the KJ’s in Grovetown, and on Friday friends, family, and coworkers surprised him with a retirement party.

Ron’s been in the grocery business for 49 years, starting at just 16 years old back in 1974.

“I started as a bagger, and ever since then I’ve been in the grocery business. I ran home and told my parents that, hey I want to keep working in the grocery business, and here we are,” said King.
Ron’s worked at plenty of stores and has stayed in the grocery business for so long because it was something he loved to do.

“Because of the customers and interacting with people that I work for, I guess I’ve always been a people person. Didn’t know this would be coming to an end today, I’m just proud that I served 49 years in the public and took care of my family,” said King.

Over the years Ron’s worked with a lot of people and he’s changed some of their lives.

“Before I ever worked here, I’d been coming here as a customer and my mom passed away last year in December, and Ron was aware of that and he knew that I had no family, so he invited me to his home for Christmas eve. He invited me in, I met his wife, his son, his mother in law, all that, it was really heart touching, and because of that is why I wanted to come here and work, and be around him more,” said Ron’s coworker, Jeffrey Pelasky.

“I started working here in October of last year and shortly after I started working here I got into some legal trouble. I missed work and four days later I came and begged for my job, begged with him, crying in the office, and he has such a big heart that he didn’t hold it against me and you see I’m still here. Ron just has such a big heart for everybody he meets,” said Co-worker, Tasha Noblett.

Even Ron’s mother was on hand for the momentous occasion.

“There are no words, I’m just so proud of him. I never thought I would see one of my boys retire at my age, but I’m proud, so proud, what can I say,” said Ron’s mother, Ingrid King.

Even though Ron’s time in the grocery business is over, he’ll still have a lot of fond memories, and he’s thankful to everyone that helped him along the way.

“Thank you for everything y’all have done, thank you to my family for supporting me for 49 years, thank you to my kids for supporting me for 49 years, but especially thank you for the people that supported me, under me that made me be where I am today,” said King.