Updated: Jun 21, 2021
By Jeff Holt
Published January 21, 2021 in The Burg GALESBURG - He doesn't want any fancy title. He just gets up at 4 a.m. five days a week,
so that he can get to work by 5 a.m. to do the breakfast at McDonald's on Henderson Street.
Then, he does the lunch meal and is often done by 3 p.m.
"Don't give me a title," joked Leroy Brannon, recently, in his 41st year of working at
McDonald's. "I don't want to be a manager.When it's time to go home, I'm outta here."
His key to success is simple: "Come in to work have fun and do your job."
Brannon admits that he is a bit handicapped and is unable to drive a car or read very well.
Yet, he quickly makes up for it with a great personality and a team-first attitude. He said he learned how to get along with people from his older brother, Donald. "I learned to be nice to people," Brannon said. "Don't treat them bad." Away from work, Brannon said he has been a huge fan through the years of Walter Payton
and Michael Jordan. He said that Payton "played the game right" and didn't take any drugs. And about Jordan,
that he didn't "party all night" and wasn't into all of that. Brannon said he got interested in working at McDonald's from a teacher of his at Silas Willard. He still remembers his start - at 18 years old - at the old Sandburg Mall McDonald's with ones like Marc Miller, Gary Nelson and Debbie (Plummer) Clague. He enjoyed all of his co-workers and he used to love eating the Big Mac's. "It wasn't bad," he said. "I was 18 years old and I learned." Galesburg native Marc Miller worked with Brannon in the early 1980s for a few years. Miller would work with Brannon from breakfast to lunch on the weekends. “We had a really good relationship. We’d make each other laugh and enjoyed working together,” Miller explained. Miller described Brannon as having an “infectious smile,” “the nicest guy,” “a positive person,” and “he loved talking.” “I used to get in trouble for walking back from the cashier to the grill to talk with him. When asked what I was doing, I would always say oh I’m just talking to my friend Leroy,” Miller reminisced. Miller also remembered “when it was busy, Leroy and I would work the grills next to each other. He could line up the patties like clockwork.” Brannon is 60 years old now and said he might work until he's around 65. You won't see Brannon on any highlight reels for ESPN in a Bulls or Bears uniform. But you'll see a certain smile that lights up the room, a certain politeness to others in the land of the Golden Arches and a certain dedication to his job that clearly separates himself from others.