Home Depot employee, 90, brings smiles and knowledge to the community
OXFORD – With a pencil to your ear and a cheerful, infectious laugh, you can find Bill Van Nieuwenhuyze at The Home Depot in Oxford.
“I’m having a great time,” he exclaims happily.
Recently 90 years old, he has spent the past decade analyzing inventory, stocking shelves and, most importantly, helping customers.
“Customer service is important. It’s the only way they’ll keep coming back,” Bill explained.
One of Bill’s favorite parts is leading the store’s monthly children’s workshops. It teaches children of all ages and abilities how to use tools when working on a project. Some of her most rewarding workshops have been addressing the unique needs and gifts of children living with developmental disabilities.
Bill says that Van Nieuwenhuyze means “from the new house”. Assembly, work in the field of home renovation. He is an honest and punctual seller.
“I come in early every day. I’m always there at 7 a.m. I don’t start until 8 a.m. I sit down and do crossword puzzles,” Bill says of his shifts from Friday to sunday.
Bill had to take about a year off during the pandemic for safety reasons. It was also at this time that he lost his wife. Being fully vaccinated has brought some of the light back into his life – a long-awaited return to the aisles he loves.
“I have to do something,” he said. “I have to keep working. I love it.”
And Home Depot loves it back – especially “Bill’s Angels”. Three young employees have become close friends and mentees.
“It doesn’t get any better than him,” Michaela said.
“He’s the biggest supporter in everyone. He’s an amazing guy,” Nicole added.
With no signs of slowing down, Bill is proof that there is no age limit for good workers.
“It can happen. There are jobs. People have a lot of skills, which are retiring. They can be used,” Bill said.
There is also no limit for boys and their toys.
“That’s the best part. That’s the best part!” he said laughing.