Kite retires at 70 after working 12 years at SMART

Published 12:40 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

Betty Kite will retire from SMART, LLC after working there for 12 years. Kite has been employed at the facility since it opened. Journal Photo/Shayla Terry

By: Shayla Terry

Betty Kite started at Smart, LLC in April of 2005, after a long career as a factory laborer; she is retiring at 70 years old.

Kite, a Luverne native, has worked at just about every factory within a 20-mile radius of Luverne.

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“I’ve worked at Vanity Fair, Sister Schubert’s, Dozier Manufacturing, and Boss Glove Factory in Greenville.”

Through she has been a hard worker for her whole life, Kite says she always wanted to travel.

“Now that I have the time, I’ll travel,” she said. “I’ll go anywhere, as long as I get to just go.”

Kite has been married to Robert Kite for 51 years. The couple has seven children ranging in ages from 51 to 28, 16 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

“I wanted to work and I need to work for them, and to shop,” Kite said. “Now that I’m 70 years old, I want to enjoy some of my life before I leave this world.”

I’m going to miss her,” said supervisor Melissa Biggs. “She’s one of a kind. She works hard every day. She’s the oldest person I have on the line, but is also the hardest worker I have on the line.”

“For the last five years, I’ve been asking her is she ready to retire,” Biggs said. “She always tells me she’s not going home to sit down.”

Kite’s husband is already retired due to an ailment.

“I know I’m a good worker, and I try to be a good person to anybody,” Kite said. “With my new time off, I’ll go fishing a lot. I like fishing.”