Coworkers help New Jersey nurse take her take final steps into retirement

WASHINGTON TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- One day in 2002 when Anne Chiefari's car broke down, she had a realization - work was closer than she thought.

"I never realized how close it was," she said, after walking the 1.1 miles from her home to her job at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital.

That was the start of 17 years of walking to work. Chiefari has been an operating room nurse at Jefferson Washington Township Hospital for 41 years.

"I've worked with so many doctors, nurses and people. Everybody's been so kind, wonderful and great," she said.

And that made it difficult when Chiefari decided it was time to retire.

Before the sun completely rose on Friday morning, Chiefari took her last stroll to work alongside her husband, Tony. What she didn't know was that more than a dozen of her coworkers were waiting around the corner to surprise her by strolling alongside her on that final walk to work.

"I figured this would be the best send-off for her because this is what she does," said coworker Colleen Gurovich. "And we wanted to take the last walk with her on her last day."

With balloons in hand, Chiefari's coworkers walked her to work in grand style. Their celebration inspired drivers to honk their horns as they passed by.

Chiefari views the walks as her daily exercise. She's only ever skipped it when the weather was too bad. On those days, her husband drove her to work.

"I couldn't think of a better way to send her off for her last day," said Tony Chiefari.

He figures the couple will keep walking, just not to the hospital.

Anne Chiefari is looking forward to her retirement, but she says she'll miss her coworkers.

"They've always just risen to the occasion," she said. "They're all very special."
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