PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Leroy Williams went to work at Ingalls Shipyard in 1953. Today, you'll find the 77-year-old in what's called a Rod Room, handing out supplies to welders. But that wasn't always the case.
"When I first started working here, I was a laborer, and I went from labor to welding," Williams remembered. "I went welding on my own time at the east bank training. I worked all day and then go to school about three or four hours a night, and learned how to weld on my own time."
Williams helped build the ships that have served in four wars, something he's most proud of. But the technology that has come on board since he began continues to amaze him.
When asked if he ever thought he would work at one place for so long, Williams said, "Well, I hadn't given it a thought, you know. I just got a job and worked and worked and just stayed."
One thing you notice about Williams as soon as you meet him is the pride he takes in his work. He said even after 56 years, coming to work is still fun. And that enjoyment is a family affair. Williams' three sons also work at Northrop Grumman, following in their father's footsteps.
As for retirement, Williams had some sound advice for me, and everyone else.
"Well Doug, I'm gonna tell you just like this: I believe in God and as long as he lets me have my health and strength, I'm gonna work. I've been working all my life and I can't sit down now, gotta keep going. You'll last longer."