WORTHINGTON - Mike Carson doesn’t love being in the spotlight, but with a smile as contagious as his, it’s hard not to be.

His bright spirit will be missed as he retires from Hy-Vee. After working in Hy-Vee’s meat department for almost 34 years, Carson’s last day was Friday.

Store Director DeWayne McIntyre said there are many customers who will miss Carson.

“I just wait on people the way I would want to be waited on,” Carson said of his service.

Since Carson started at Hy-Vee in 1985, he has loved his work.

“Hy-Vee has really helped me take care of my family,” he said.

Carson expressed appreciation for his good salary and benefits, as well as the closeness he has felt among his coworkers.

“They’re my family away from home,” he said about his follow Hy-Vee employees. “I have been blessed with great coworkers.”

In retirement, Carson will enjoy the flexibility in his schedule. His wife is also retiring from teaching in Brewster, and they plan to spend more time together and with family, including their Springer Spaniel. Carson also wants to do some volunteering.

“We’ve been blessed greatly,” Carson said of his family. He and his wife have been married 44 years and have three kids, 12 grandkids, and two great-grandkids.

Carson is excited to retire with his wife.

“She keeps me strong and pointed in the right direction,” he said while giving credit to God for the longevity and strength of their bond.

“Without God, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” he explained. He believes his faith has grounded him and taught him to be the man he is today.