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Louise Corvino may have officially retired in 1980 from her secretarial position at a Manhattan-based real estate licensing office, but that has not stopped the 92-year-old Long Island resident from showing up for work five days a week in Little Neck for the past 28 years.
Corvino, who was born in Brooklyn and once lived in Corona but now resides in Manhasset, co-owned Manhattan's Corvino Bakery on 29th Street with her husband until he died in 1962, before going to work for a real estate licensing office in the World Trade Center.
In 1980, Corvino, who has one daughter, retired from her post at the office, but was persuaded to work part time for realtor Bryce Rea Associates Inc. at 250-02 Northern Blvd. in Little Neck.
But the job became full time and Corvino, who drove to work until two years ago, still puts in a 40-hour week at the office, which owner-broker Rod O'Connell said is the oldest of its type in the neighborhood.
"This is my second home," said Corvino, who sits in the front of the office at a small desk covered with assorted papers, a small lamp and a potted plant. "I have lots of energy when I get up in the morning and I like to keep moving. On Saturdays and Sundays, people like to lay in their pajamas all day, but I don't like that. I like to come here — to see people and talk."
Corvino, who catches a ride to work with her daughter and is picked up each day by her son-in-law, answers phones, cleans the office and copies materials for the realtor on the office's Xerox machine. She also shoveled snow from the front of the building during winters up until the last year or two, associate broker Carolyn Meenan said.
"She is more than just a secretary," Meenan said. "When I first came here 21 years ago, we did not have computers on our desks. So she would go every day by car to the multiple listing office in Flushing to pick up our listings. It wasn't until two years ago when she started to slow down."
O'Connell said Corvino is one of the most reliable employees with whom he has ever worked.
"I call her my girl Friday," he said. "I can count on her to be here on time every day."
Meenan said the office's employees took Corvino out for her 92nd birthday July 21 to Little Neck's Conti's restaurant on Northern Boulevard. She said she admires Corvino's dedication to the office and her strong work ethic.
"She feels if she stayed at home, she wouldn't live as long," Meenan said. "But she's a very wise woman. As much as we think she should stay home and cultivate her garden, she likes to work."
Bryce Rea covers a number of Queens neighborhoods, including Little Neck, Bayside, Douglaston, Flushing, Whitestone and College Point.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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