Woman honored at company after seven decades of service

VANDALIA, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman who started on a company’s assembly line at age 18 has been honored for 70 years of service through five company and job position changes.

Doris Harakay, 89, was honored earlier this month at GE Aviation with gifts, awards, certificates and some of her favorite candy by coworkers and the mayor of Vandalia, Richard Herbst, the Dayton Daily News reported. The city had proclaimed Feb. 20 Doris Harakay Day.

“I think we are all very impressed. I am honored to come and share this moment with you,” Herbst said.

Harakay also received a parade and a video of coworkers featuring congratulations from Gov. Mike Dewine. She strolled through the plant with a cart adorned with red decorations, gold balloons and a print out of a Cadillac emblem.

“It’s been a wonderful journey,” she said.

Harakay started work at Leland Electric Company in Dayton — making 89 cents an hour — seeking more money for her family as her husband prepared to leave for war. The company moved to Vandalia in 1957 would change ownership four more times until 2007, when it became GE Aviation.

Harakay, who currently works in the stock room, said the people and the job itself has kept her at the company over the last seven decades.

“You all put the smile on my face,” she said. “It is fun and I wouldn’t be here all this time but this is my family too and I love having a family like this.”

GE plant manager Jesse Baker, who has known Harakay for 19 years, said her positive energy is contagious.

“It’s just been our pleasure and she’s an amazing woman,” Baker said. “She acts like she’s 25. She got the wit and the attitude and the energy of somebody a quarter of her age.”

Harakay’s oldest daughter, Carla Humfleet, said she is proud of her mother.

“She can outwork any of us. She just goes goes, and goes,” Humfleet said. “I am so proud of her but on the other hand I am still in awe because there’s just no way.”

Harakay said she has no plans to retire just yet and planned to be back to work on Monday.


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