Although most octogenarians are content to sit back and enjoy retirement, it’s Ora Leigh Elvis’ pleasure to stay busy working in the hospitality industry.
She’s still going strong, working three days a week at Chick-fil-A in Conway.
“I love it. I really enjoy it,” the 83-year-old said.
Born and raised in Horry County, Elvis has four children, 14 grandchildren and more than 14 great-grandchildren.
She graduated from high school in 1954 and went to work at AVX in Myrtle Beach that summer.
“I worked from one end of the building to the other,” Elvis said. “The last job I worked there, I worked in shipping and import/export paperwork. Then our jobs went to Mexico.”
She got married that fall, and continued to work for AVX for 42 years. When her son, Kendall Elvis, and his father-in-law, Wallace Singleton, opened The Trestle in Conway, she worked there for a few years before moving on to other hospitality positions. Elvis headed to work for a few years at some hotels at the beach as their continental breakfast hostess.
A little over a year ago, Elvis said her son convinced her to find something closer to home.
“He said ‘You don’t need to be on the road that early,’ as I had to leave at 5:45 a.m.,” Elvis said.
Her husband died two years ago, and she said she just doesn’t like being at home because it is so empty.
She applied for a job at Conway’s Chick-fil-A and the rest is history.
Elvis works the CFA dining room, wiping tables, refilling drinks and restocking condiments.
When she isn’t at work, she enjoys cooking and baking, to the delight of her co-workers. Elvis said people still request her 18-layer chocolate cakes.
She said talking to people is her favorite part of the job.
“I’ve made a lot of new friends, but I’ve lived in Horry County all my life. I know everybody that’s been here for years,” Elvis said.
She credits CFA with being a “good Christian work environment” and that there’s “no profanity and they are closed on Sundays.”
“Mr. Paul (Alverson) is a very, very good person to work for,” she said.
Marketing director Megan Richardson said she and the managers are happy to have Elvis as long as she wants to work there.
“She’s great…She has been such a blessing to our store,” Richardson said.
Elvis can be found at CFA three times a week working four-hour shifts, and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
“It gives me an outing and it gives me a little bit of change,” Elvis said. “I told them I have two bad habits. I like to eat, and I like to shop.”