You want what she's got - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

You want what she's got

Good nutrition, great outlook fuel 90-year-old worker Supplemental Superstar

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Posted: Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:00 am

She'll be 91 in three months and she's just finished another 30-hour work week at Super Supplements in Coeur d'Alene.

Dorothy Jumel is fit, bright and she knows the products on all those shelves better than anybody. But there's a suspicion here that her connection to the fountain of youth has at least as much to do with her focus on the well-being of others as it does with what she puts into her own body.

Dorothy, who goes by the nickname "Dickie," breaks out her best grin when she's asked how often customers want to know what she does to stay on top of the world.

"They come and say, all day, 'I want to be like you,'" she says. "And I say, 'I don't want you to be like me. I want you to be better.'"

Better? Even if you don't use longevity as a measuring stick, Dickie's going to be tough to beat.

Consider her effectiveness at work, which store manager Brett Jessen most certainly does. Jessen says Super Supplements doesn't track employees' sales, but he suggests the crowds of return customers seeking out Dickie's wisdom are proof that she's peerless.

"She's an icon," Jessen says. "People come from all around to see her. Customers come down from Canada, talk to her and load up for six months."

And it isn't just quantity that counts.

"She's a walking encyclopedia of health," says disabled veteran Harold Garner of Post Falls, whose latest reward for tapping that encyclopedia's database is to have lost 70 pounds in one year. "That's a whole body. I feel great."

Garner's wife, Judy, has an even more remarkable story to share. She says that when she met Dickie five years ago, Judy was confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home, suffering from the effects of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Now she's standing in a store aisle, seemingly burdened by nothing more than the armload of nutritional supplements she's carrying.

"Her knowledge is incredible," Judy says. "She keeps me going."

Describing himself as "metabolically, a wreck" before he found Dickie, Steven Star of Post Falls considers himself a raving fan.

"Every remedy or product she's suggested produced significant results in a noticeable way," Star says, adding that he and his wife learned about Dickie from friends. "We make use of this vast wealth of experience and knowledge."

Jessen says Dickie's experience with nutrition goes back many years.

"When people first started putting supplements in capsules, she was on the ground floor," he says. But her popularity isn't grounded in experience alone.

"She finds out what the real problems are by posing the right questions," he says.

Some six decades ago, Dickie was asking herself serious questions while tending to two sick sons, one with epilepsy and another with asthma.

"Medication was $60 and made my son turn blue," she says. "What's a mother to do? I went another way. I got into nutrition. And I've been a nutritionist for 60 years."

Before having a family, Dickie took shop in school, an almost unheard of vocation for girls those days. Her special desire to help veterans was likely forged by a job she earned at 19, working with 14 men building B-29 landing gear. Later she worked for the Army and ended up marrying a man who piloted a glider during five U.S. invasions during the war.

From there, Dickie raised her family, worked and attended school for 16 years, creating a small nutrition empire in the Escondido, Calif., area that reached seven offices at its zenith. In the years that followed, she's always been connected to the nutrition industry, happy to work hard.

"I love helping people on all levels of their life, wherever they are," she says. "I honor and respect them wherever they are."

With a little help, she's seen people "graduate to a place where life is precious to them. That's the joy of my life - seeing these people with a whole new lease on life."

Some are customers. Others are co-workers, like young Maia O'Toole. Five years ago, Dickie helped Maia get a job at Super Supplements.

"She's an amazing daily inspiration," O'Toole says. "Dickie's really changed how I view age."

She's done that to a lot of people. Dickie says one of the secrets to her great health is that she takes powder supplements each morning - powder because it goes quickly to her brain, unlike solids that must more arduously navigate the digestive system.

"She knows everything there is to know about homeopathic healing and how to take care of your body naturally," says another big fan, Mark Whitt of Coeur d'Alene. "She is obviously a living testament that it works."

Whitt should know; he's had a bird's-eye view for years as Dickie's son-in-law.

"She has one of the most positive outlooks on life of anyone you would ever meet, and looks at each day like the new day that it is," he says.

While Dickie is quick to answer customers' questions about products and suggest potential remedies, she hesitates for just a moment when asked to impart one piece of advice based on her 90 amazing years that could lead to greater happiness. When they come, her words are accompanied by another beautiful smile.

"I would tell people to give their love and wisdom away to those they walk with in life."

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  • my own opinion posted at 1:37 pm on Mon, Sep 10, 2012.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    I agree Spudman She has a lot of knowledge. I meant the bigger bottles more potent product is good, it is just a bit more expensive at point of sale.
    Sorry if my post may have reflected wrong.

  • spudman posted at 12:04 pm on Mon, Sep 10, 2012.

    spudman Posts: 7

    Regarding taking a job from a younger person:
    I've talked to her, and it's not so much about the job as it is the vast amount of knowledge she is able to share. Super Supplements is so lucky to have someone who knows as much about their products as she does. She's helped me an so many other people I know when no one else could. She's amazing!

  • SPUDIO posted at 6:23 pm on Sun, Sep 9, 2012.

    SPUDIO Posts: 101

    What a couple of negative jacknuggets,go for it Dickie!

  • my own opinion posted at 8:59 am on Sun, Sep 9, 2012.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    I think it is great that she is able to work the thing is she is taking a job from a younger person who does not have the SS option or the medical care option of a senior. It is all good she can work as much as she likes and probably has a lot of experience. Good job. Super Supplements is way over priced.

  • DeNiles posted at 8:17 am on Sun, Sep 9, 2012.

    DeNiles Posts: 2450

    Do these stores pay for the paper to publish these advertisement oriented stories?

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