The ‘Dairy Queen’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Margaret Kilpatrick was honored with a ceremony Tuesday.

Margaret Kilpatrick was honored with a ceremony Tuesday.

You many not be aware of it, but you probably know Margaret Kilpatrick. In fact, most people in the Andalusia area have likely seen her smiling face on several occasions at the Dairy Queen on East Three Notch Street, where Tuesday marked her 40th year on the job.

“You just don’t get a lot of employees like her anymore,” former Dairy Queen owner Jimmy Faulkner said. “We’ve had some employees that have stayed 12 to 15 years, but (Margaret) has been here the longest.”

Kilpatrick, who has reared four children since beginning her job at Dairy Queen on Jan. 14, 1974, said time flies when you have a job you love.

“Mr. Faulkner hired me 40 years ago, and it doesn’t seem like that long ago,” she said. “I was right out of high school and looking for a job.”

Kilpatrick said her oldest child, a niece who made her way back from Texas Tuesday for a ceremony marking the anniversary, was three months old when she began working at Dairy Queen.

In the four decades since she began, Kilpatrick, now a supervisor, said she has seen plenty of changes.

“This used to be a flower shop,” she said of the current Dairy Queen dining room where friends and co-workers gathered to celebrate her service Tuesday.

Faulkner, who sold the restaurant in December, said Kilpatrick has left her mark on the store.

“She’s done a little of everything,” he said. “She’s been cooking our western sauce for 35 years now.”

Kilpatrick said she still has three kids in the area, as well as six grand children, and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her third great-grandchild next week at Andalusia Regional Hospital.

In addition to spending time with her growing family, Kilpatrick said she has no plans of leaving Dairy Queen anytime soon.

“I don’t guess I’m going anywhere,” she said with a smile.