Topmiller, Shirley

Owen, Thomas
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The interview briefly touches on Ms. Topmiller's childhood in Louisville's Oakdale neighborhood , her education, family, and early jobs including as a receptionist/clerk in the President's Office at the University of Louisville in the 1950s. The main focus is on her role as an employee at Kentucky Fried Chicken where throughout the 1970s she was a personal assistant to Colonel Harland Sanders. In his 80s in that era, Colonel Sanders traveled over 250,000 miles annually promoting the fried chicken he had developed. Ms. Topmiller reflects on the Colonel's personal support, relationship with co-workers, energetic personality, and commitment to the company. There is extended discussion about Ms. Topmiller's role over almost a decade making plans for KFC's response to the Colonel's death and conducting his funeral. In describing carrying-out of those plans in 1980, there is a strong anecdote involving famous singer Pat Boone.
Kentucky Fried Chicken, Yum! Brands, Sanders, Harland