Beloved 96-year-old bag­ger at New Eng­land gro­cery chain dies

Cape Breton Post - - Obituaries -

Arthur St. John, who at 96 was the old­est em­ployee of a New Eng­land gro­cery chain and among its most beloved, has died.

St. John died Mon­day at his home in Ex­eter, New Hampshire, the Bre­witt Fu­neral Home said.

He worked as a part-time bag­ger in the Stratham store of Mar­ket Bas­ket for 26 years. He was the old­est em­ployee work­ing at any of the su­per­mar­ket chain’s 77 lo­ca­tions in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine _ and one of the most pop­u­lar.

Store Man­ager Dean Clevesy tells Sea­coas­ton­line.com that cus­tomers would wait in line to talk to him when other lines were open.

St. John worked mill jobs and at a nurs­ing home be­fore join­ing Mar­ket Bas­ket. He worked along­side his brother Os­car, who died in 2012.

In 2014, a feud be­tween two cousins over the fam­ily-run chain prompted an em­ployee walk­out and a customer boy­cott. St. John was among the part-time work­ers whose hours were cut.

A young customer started a Go­FundMe cam­paign to help him pay his bills, and it raised more than $7,000.

Af­ter he turned 96 last July, Arthur T. De­moulas, the store’s pres­i­dent, sent him a note, calling him an in­spi­ra­tion and thank­ing him for his years of ser­vice.

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