Tina Russell found herself a single mother at a young age. She left Piedmont High School when she married at 17. Soon Tina was having to support herself and her children and found that the only way to do that was to hold down two jobs.

Until two years ago, Tina, 44, had worked two jobs since she was a teenager. She worked 16 years at the Huddle House for L. T. Morgan and his wife, the late Geanett Morgan. Then she worked for the Morgans’ daughter and son-in-law, Marsha and Brent Morrison.

“That’s where most people will remember me from,” Tina said.

She worked at Lively’s Foodland for two years and Norton’s Express Mart for 15 years. She’s worked at Alaco Pharmacy for the past 11 years, where she fills prescriptions, counts the medicines, works at the cash register and does any number of duties that her job calls for.

“I do everything except check the medicine and let it go out,” she said. “I work all over the store. I love meeting people and getting to see them.”

Tina said she looks forward to going to work everyday. She likes her boss, Jim Keenum, and the other pharmacists Jenny Cain Williamson and Jeff Roberts, and her co-workers, Christie Smart Freeman, Ashleigh Smith Masters, Kiona Turner, Erica Lemons and Dallas Smith.

“I’m emotionally attached to my customers,” she said. “I feel like everybody comes to me and talks. They know they can talk to me.”

Tina said she knows she’ll reach retirement age some day, but she’s happy it won’t be anytime soon, although it hasn’t always been easy holding down two jobs.

“Being a single mom and raising two kids, you’ll do what you have to do,” she said. “It’s never easy to work all the time, but I do have to say that I have an addiction to it. I like to work, and when I’m not at work, I feel like I’m missing something.”

She’s been able to enjoy her family more in the two years she’s only held one job.

Tina and her husband, Craig, facilities manager for the City of Piedmont, have been married four years and been together 10 years. They met when they both worked at Lively’s Foodland. She was a cashier and he stocked groceries.

“I just knew instantly when I saw him that I loved him,” she said. “I knew there was something special about him. He’s the love of my life. I couldn’t make it without him.”

They have three children. Jonathan Danford works at Weiss Lake Egg Co., in Centre. Hayley Wood and her husband, Steven, live in Piedmont. Haley is a stay-at-home mom. Kaylynn Russell, a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Reserve, is engaged to Jessie Brittain. Tina’s grandchildren are Brayleigh, 4, and Will, 2.

Her parents are Shay and Kathy (Clark) Stewart of Piedmont. Her sisters are Angie Crane, who owns Angie’s Burger Shack in Cedar Bluff, and Jennifer Stewart, who works in the cafeteria at Cedar Bluff School.

Tina grew up in Plainview Congregational Holiness Church. She likes to monogram shirts and play pranks. April Food’s Day is her favorite holiday. She’s a devoted Auburn fan.

She and Craig share their home with two dogs, Ginger and Pinkie.

(Contact Margart at pollya922@gmail.com)