WESTAMPTON, N.J. --Every weekday for the last 13 years waitress Katherine Walsh has arrived to work the lunch shift at Applebee's in Westampton, Burlington County without fanfare.
On Tuesday, it was something different.
"I was just so surprised," she said.
That's because Walsh's coworkers wanted to celebrate with this beloved waitress a big milestone in life: her 90th birthday.
"It's fantastic. It's fabulous that all these people would come out for my birthday," Walsh said.
A great-grandmother and widow with eight children, the Delran resident is known as Miss Katherine.
She's the oldest of Applebee's 40,000 employees and is more than four times older than some of her coworkers.
"They love her. A lot of them think she's their grandmother, wish that she was their grandmother," manager Sean Gallagher said.
"She's really sweet, she does her job, she works really hard, and she's just a really great person," coworker Desiree Barker said.
At age 90, Katherine Walsh says she works five days a week partly because she has to, but mostly because she wants to.
"I'm part of life, I'm not just sitting there. I'm part of living. I'm out every day. I have a purpose. I enjoy it," Walsh said.
And her loyal customers love her.
"She is such a doll. She's very friendly, very helpful. She's like part of my family," Debbie Huckins of Willingboro, NJ said.
"For her age, she certainly is quick, very responsive," Tom Giles of Delran, NJ said.
As she blew out candles on a cake and opened a stack of cards and gifts, Katherine Walsh reflected on the secret to staying young.
"I guess it's just being with people," Walsh said.
And even though she's 90, this waitress has no plans to retire.
"Maybe I'll have another five years. Hopefully," she said.