Even in the most stressful times for the grocery industry, Judy Mallett made sure her co-workers at Vernon’s Butcher Boys outlet had high spirits.
The fun-loving Mallett, who worked at Butcher Boys for 46 years, died of cancer Oct. 4 at the age of 70. She had a penchant for dressing up in costume for every holiday at the store and made sure fellow employees joined in.
“She was everything to us,” said store manager Brent Ohashi. “She worked here for 40-plus years. She was the cornerstone of our company.”
Born in Vermillion, Alta, Mallett was a nurse in Edmonton where she met her future husband, Rod. After a brief-long distance romance, the pair moved to Vernon and married.
Mallett worked at a grocery store for a short time before joining the Guidi family at Butcher Boys where she worked until her illness took over. She considered the Guidis a second family, and the Guidis considered her family.
“Absolutely,” said Tamsen Guidi, granddaughter of the store founders, who also works at Butcher Boys. “She would have coffee with my grandmother every morning at 6 a.m. and catch her up on all of the gossip. They took trips together.”
Mallett was involved in helping others and fundraising. Through Butcher Boys’ auctions, she raised a great deal of money for Vernon Hospice. She was also a founding member of Santa’s Anonymous and remained heavily involved in all of the toy runs.
A memorial service was held on Friday, Oct. 9. The store is planning on doing something to honour Mallett’s memory.
“She meant so much to us, we want to do something and we don’t want to under-do it,” said Ohashi.