Ray Hope (pictured at right) made his final flight as a Continental Airlines flight attendant this past Friday. He thought it was time to retire; he will be 80 years old in August.
According to a Houston Chronicle article about Ray Hope, this is his second retirement. Before he became a Continental Airlines flight attendant 16 years ago, he had a 40 year career as a commercial photographer.
Mr. Hope, whose daughter has been a Continental flight attendant for 22 years, was in his sixties when he applied for the cabin crew job. He told the Houston Chronicle that he had "some good days and some bad days." But the experience taught him patience, he said.
"It's just a good experience of meeting people and communicating with them," Hope said. "I think it's the best choice I've ever made in my entire life. I wish I would have done it sooner."He called being a flight attendant a "rewarding job" that he hated to give up, but he felt it was the right time to do so.
The almost-80 year old now plans to spend time with friends at a retirement community, making wooden toys for children in Child Protective Services. He jokes, though, about a possible third career as a Wal-Mart greeter.
The Houston Chronicle quoted Ray Hope's daughter, Diane Peckham, who said of her father, "He's not one to relax very easily. He's always one to do something."
Best wishes to Ray Hope for his retirement years.