Inez June Threet, the first employee hired at Wal-Mart, died on Nov. 17 from a heart ailment. She was 84.
A resident of Centerton, Ark., Threet was hired by Sam Walton in 1950 to work as a clerk in a sundries store he’d purchased. That store became the first Wal-Mart, and Threet was eventually joined by almost 1.5 million associates.
Over the next quarter of a century, Threet was promoted to senior positions and accompanied Walton on Wal-Mart inspections until her retirement in 1975. Her grandson, Kenneth Threet, also works as a truck driver for the discount chain.