At age 90, and for 50 years, Becky Auten has held the most taxing job

Veteran H & R Block tax preparer still doing 300-400 returns a year
Becky, or Betty, Auten, 90, first began working for H & R Block in 1973.
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 4:31 PM EDT
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - To work at the same job for more than fifty years must be a labor of love, but what if you didn’t start that job until you were 40? Becky, sometimes Betty, Auten is now 90-years-old, and still filing returns and helping clients with their taxes at an H & R Block office in Salisbury.

“We called it the hole in the wall and it was,” Auten said.

It was at an H & R Block office on N. Main Street in 1973 that Becky Auten first started doing tax returns…

“I remember my first day at work,” Auten recalled. “I really wanted to quit and be the receptionist because I got nervous, and my first client I was so nervous I could hardly write.”

She figured it out, and 50 years later, is still on the job and still working for H & R Block.

“Had busy periods and had slow periods, but right now I’m swamped,” Auten said “It’s that time of year.”

Her biggest challenge, Auten said, was the switch to computer technology.

“When they told us we were going to have to go on the computer I was petrified. I thought I was going to tear the computer up. I never touched a computer,” Auten said. “And I thought well this thing’s not going to master me, I’m going to master it.”

But the computer and the adding machine will have to take a short break this week. Her office, H & R Block corporate representatives, and the mayor are going to honor Auten for her 50 years on the job.

“The 50 years…I never dreamed that I would work 50 years, with Block, but I enjoy it or I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” Auten said.

She also managed to raise a family. Son Kevin is the recently retired Rowan County Sheriff.

“I think it was easy for myself and my two sisters to understand work ethic between my mother and my father, and as we see today at her age she’s still working away and enjoys it,” Kevin Auten said. “Hopefully we can instill that in our children the way mom and dad instilled it into Kelly and Kevin and Kim.”

That work ethic shows no sign of letting up.

“I’ve been blessed, mentally and physically, and that’s why I’m still here,” Auten said. “As long as my brain and body says go. I’ll know that time, that time hasn’t shown up yet.”

Her clients still come to see her, and she still gets a thrill out of finding a big deduction.

“I love to see my clients get refunds I don’t like to see anybody owe and I do everything I can to help them.”