Lionel Houltham began working at Taylors General Store in Hunterville in 1971, and remained employed in the same building at 4 Milne St until a couple of weeks ago.
After a farewell shindig, he headed happily into retirement.
Houltham said he had been working at Newton Kings in Whanganui before Hunterville came knocking.
"A rep came in one day and said 'I've got a job that would suit you right down the ground'," Houltham said.
"I called a number and it happened to be Mr Tom Taylor and I started there on March 1, 1971."
Houltham began as a hardware manager, and spent the last three years of his career as the store manager of PGG Wrightson, which is also at 4 Milne St.
"I've been a bit of a jack of all trades and helped out wherever I could, whether that be in the liquor store, the groceries, or driving the delivery truck.
"In the grocery department at Taylors we used to do all our own weighing up of cereals and everything.
"None of it was packed, and all the stuff was unloaded off trucks by hand. There was no such thing as forklifts. Half the bags were three times the weight of what they are today as well.
"I didn't have to go to the gym, that's for sure."
Chatting with customers would be the thing he missed the most, Houltham said, with the children of his first customers now popping in as adults.
"Someone will come in to buy something and you end up chatting for half an hour.
"They'll want to know what's going on in town, who's going out with who, and all the rest of it.
"We were saying at my send-off that it could be like 'Peyton Place' sometimes."
Houltham said he and his wife were staying put in Hunterville for the time being.
"We have always been quite happy here. You get out of bed early in the morning, go to work, and come home at five o'clock.
"In the early days we'd start at 8am on a Friday and finish at 9 at night, to allow for the people up the valley to come in and get their stores.
"When Wrighties took over it was only 8am to 5pm and the cockies were pretty grumpy with that.
"Nobody was open when they went to work and no one was open when they got home.
"I just said 'you've got to go with the times, boys'."
Rita Martin, the current general manager of Taylors, said Houltham was "pretty iconic" in Hunterville.
"Right up until last week he was in here helping out," Martin said.
"The other day he told one of the staff that they needed to put air in their tires, and low and behold, by the time they got out there he had already done it.
"He's a walking, talking encyclopedia when it comes to hardware and tools and shearing equipment.
"It's all in his head, and he's an amazing man in that respect."
Douglas Duncan and his brother Ken purchased Taylors in 1998, and Lionel came along with it.
"He did 27 years with the Taylor family, 20 years with us, and three years with PGG Wrightson," Duncan said.
"He wasn't required to be at work until 7.45am, but he was always there by 6.30am to look after the farmer's needs, and to open the doors to allow the papers, milk, and bread all to be delivered."
Duncan said Houltham had been instrumental in setting up the 100 year anniversary celebrations of Taylors in 2004.
"He did such a good job that we took him with us to the Melbourne Cup, which was great.
"Lionel is a popular wee man, with a great work ethic."
As for the future, Houltham said he would be helping out a friend with some painting.
"He asked if I'd like to do some hours if he got overloaded and I said 'yep, by all means, just give us a yell'.
"I also had some continuous spouting put on my house a couple of weeks ago, so I've been going around filling in all the hole where the old spouting brackets used to be.
"That'll keep me busy for the moment, in between showers."