Two women each celebrate a half century on the job at local business

Neither of them have plans to slow down anytime soon.
Published: May. 27, 2021 at 10:52 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Two women at Shrader Tire & Oil celebrated their 50 year anniversary with the company Thursday.

Judy Gajdostik started working at Shrader when she was a 15-year-old student at Central Catholic.

“There was a note on the bulletin board at school for an office job at Shrader. I thought to myself that I was going to have to get a job at some point. I got the job, but I couldn’t drive yet, so my parents had to drive me every day.”

That was in 1957. After nine years, she took a break to raise her family. But in 1980 she came back for what she thought was a six-month stint. She’s been there ever since.

“It’s a great company. It’s a family company, and who wants to leave your family, right?”

Debbie Szczepanski is part of the family too. She’s also worked at Shrader for 50 years.

“You really have to like the people you are working with for 8-hours a day or more. That’s for sure. I love the people here.”

Joe Shrader is the third generation of his family to run the business.

“Both Debbie and Judy have been here from their teenage years right on through. They’ve played a major role in our success. So many people here look up to them. Our culture here allows people to truly feel a part of our family. They’re taken care of, and in turn they take care of us. "

So with 50 years on the job, what about retirement? Debbie says all in good time.

“I was laid off for about five weeks because of COVID, and I hated it! Ii certainly don’t want to overstay my welcome, but I believe when God wants me to move on, he will move me. I truly believe that in my heart.”

Judy isn’t focused on her next chapter just yet either

“I could write a book about all the changes in my 50 years here. It would probably be a pretty good book too. Maybe I’ll do that when I finally quit. Who knows.”

Speaking of longevity at Shrader. Several members of the fourth generation of the family are now part the business.

If you’re looking for a career that could last 50 years or more, they’re hiring at Shrader.

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