Popular airport employee retires

Published On: Jul 28 2014 11:08:45 AM EDT   Updated On: Jul 29 2014 07:31:48 AM EDT

Ask anyone who works or frequently travels through Jacksonville International Airport and chances are, they've met Bobbie Crissman. She's been working there since the 1970's and shared some of her memories.

Crissman has worked as a server with three different restaurants at JIA for the last 39 years. Her best memories?

"Well, the airport has changed a lot and I've got a lot of good friends and customers that I've taken care of over the last 30 odd something years." Crissman said. "I've met a lot of of famous people. Geraldo the TV host, Benji the dog."

One of her favorite stories to share involves baseball legend, Pete Rose.

"I waited on him, but I didn't know who he was," Crissman said. "People were aggravating him while he ate, so I blocked off that part of the restaurant until he finished his breakfast. He shook my hand and thanked me and he said, 'No one has ever done that.' He gave me an autograph postcard of him, which I still didn't know who he was, just that he was famous and he was given out autographs."

Crissman loves talking about her history at JIA but she said it's now time to take her last order.

"Because I'm 62 and I've got a lot of medical issues, and so it's just time to say goodbye," she said.

Thursday is her last day and saying goodbye won't be easy for anyone. Briana Williams is her co-worker and friend.

"You meet certain people and they're so genuine," Williams said. "You know when they leave it will be hard because you don't have anybody else like that."

Crissman said she will miss her co-workers and regular customers, but mostly just sharing smiles and joy with strangers.

"Well, I'm a good listener," Crissman said. "I listen to their problems and try to help them, especially if they're having a bad day. I try to make their day a little better. When they come in, they may be having a bad day but when they leave me, they're in a good mood."


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