By Brecken Branstrator
Mountain Brook, Ala.--Frances Wills Moore, who earned national attention and adulation for her extraordinarily long career at an Alabama jewelry store, died last Saturday. She was 94.

092515 Moore-articleFrances Wills Moore at work at Bromberg’s in 2010; at her 90th birthday party, Ricky Bromberg recalls her passing along this bit of wisdom: “The problem with the world today is that people buy what they want and beg for what they need.”Born Aug. 16, 1921, in Birmingham, Ala., Moore was the fifth of eight children. 

She found her career early in life, going to work alongside her father at Bromberg’s jewelry store, a family-owner retailer that’s been in business since 1846, when she was just a teenager.

Owner Ricky Bromberg said it was his grandfather, Frank Bromberg Sr., who hired Moore back in 1939, which was intended to be a temporary position. 

They were just bringing her on board as an extra helping hand over the holidays. Then, “A Christmas job turned into a nearly 76-year career,” he said. 

Moore stayed on at the store and in the 1960s, when she was in her 40s, came to be in charge of inventory control.  

Even though she never learned how to use a computer, the 56-year-old Bromberg never let Moore, who had logged 20 years at the store by the time he was born, retire. She remained a valuable, contributing employee who could “work faster than anybody,” he said.   

As Moore stayed on, her long career attracted both local and national attention.

The Birmingham News ran a story when she celebrated her 70th anniversary at the store, and the Associated Press followed suit five years later, covering her 75th. Just this past spring, Moore was the subject of another feature, this one in the Los Angeles Times

Twice widowed with no children, Bromberg said Moore, who was a hard worker and always had a smile on her face, loved her job. She did it up until this past spring, when bad health forced her to stay at home.

Moore also loved sewing, knitting, traveling and her church, the First Baptist Church West Princeton in Birmingham.

Services were held there Thursday for the woman known as “Miz Frances,” who got fan mail and visitors from all over the country at Bromberg’s, where she did her job well for almost 76 years. 

 “We’re all going to miss Frances. But, at the same time, she lived a great life and a good, long one,” Bromberg said. “I’m totally at peace with it, and I think everyone else is too.” 

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