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Sunshine in the Floral Department at Smith’s in Bountiful

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Inside the Smith’s store off of 500 South in Bountiful, you’ll find a budding rose in the floral department.

And it’s not a flower — at least not in the traditional sense.

It’s 92-year old Betty Lou Lawson, who’s been brightening people’s day at this store since 1961.

“She’s a bountiful icon,” her granddaughter-in-law Andrea Lawson says.

Friends, and five generations of family came to celebrate Betty Lou and our KSL High 5 — a celebration of a woman who’s been doling out hugs for the last 57 years.

“I mean all my family and everybody is here. I can’t believe it,” Betty Lou says.

“I only let three people know and this many people showed up because word got out,” Andrea says.

Her former coworker Chuck Wright says, “I came out in 1961 in the Air Force. She started with Grand Central that same year.”

“She has a smile on her face all the time. Every day,” Chuck says.

High praise from a retired coworker. Even higher praise from the boss.

“Miss Betty Lou is the most amazing person I’ve ever worked with or ever met in my life,” says Mandy Ho, the Smith’s store manager, “She outdoes half of my employees. She can run circles around everybody.”

Just watching Betty Lou, you know that’s probably true.

And not too long ago, I had my own run-in with Betty Lou.

“About a year ago, I came in here, I was in tears. Someone had been so mean to me,” I tell her. “I’m going to cry now. And you cheered me up and made me so happy.”

“Everyone loves Betty Lou, and as you can tell when you walk into the store. ‘Betty Lou, what’s going on?’ Because everyone knows her,” Andrea says.

And everyone loves her.

But the real question: Why is she still working.

“I don’t want to retire,” Betty Lou says. “I love to work. I love the customers. I really do.”

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