owner paid off employees mortgage
Penelope Wilson
Penelope Wilson
June 9, 2024 ·  3 min read

Auto Shop Owner Paid off an Employee’s Mortgage So the Mechanic Could Retire Early

A compassionate employer in San Antonio, Texas, recently gave a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran employee a chance to retire early by paying off the mortgage on his house. Albert Brigas had been working at the Renown Auto Restoration Shop for 13 years and was eager to retire. However, he also had to pay off the mortgage on a house he’d lived in for 24 years, so retirement was still a bit far away.

“I lived in that house for 24 years. In fact, on December 5th it will be 24,” Brigas said to Khou 11 [1]. He estimated that he would have to work for six more months to pay off his mortgage and retire to be with his family. However, he was getting weaker and more tired every day. 

Rudy Quinones, 52, owner of the auto shop had since noticed Brigas’ eagerness to retire and finally get some rest.

“Albert has been grumbling about that for the past year. His ultimate goal was to retire and have his house paid off. I never had any issues with him, ever,” said Quinones said about the oldest of his 13 employees. “But I could tell that his age and the physicality of the job were starting to take a toll.”

©Washington Post

Quinones pays off the mortgage

In mid-October, Quinones had a life-changing surprise waiting for Brigas.

I asked Albert to come into my office and usually when an employee has to come to his boss’s office there’s always some apprehension for him to come in,” Quinones said.

This time, however, someone was getting massively rewarded. Quinones offered Brigas a check of $4,986 which was all he needed to pay off his mortgage. Brigas was beyond grateful for the kindest gesture he’d ever received, and Quinones was just happy to be there for a loyal employee.

I gave my boss a hug and told him, ‘Sylvia is never going to believe this,’” said Brigas.

According to Quinones, Brigas would come in to work every day as early as 6:30 am to go open up the shop and get to work, even when he was sick.

Just that level of loyalty the determination you just don’t find anymore,” Quinones said. “I got him the final numbers for the house we went to the bank and paid it off. It was something I could do for him that would make the biggest difference.”

A week later, Quinones accompanied Brigas and his wife, Sylvia to the bank where they paid off the loan to become proud owners of their home. 

Brigas said he’s seen his generous boss on several occasions coming to the aid of his employees in need.

“If somebody is down on their luck and needs a loan, Rudy is there for them,” Brigas said. “And if your car needs some repairs or you need parts, he’ll take care of it. He has a big heart.”

Off to spend more time with his family

©Washington Post

Brigas is a father of two and a grandfather of two. “We brought up my 12-year-old granddaughter and she’s doing great, and now we’ve got a nice little grandson.”

Quinones knew the elderly man needed to be there for his family, and he went out of his way to make that happen.

“To give them something they’ve been yearning for their whole lives. It’s incredible,” Quinones said.

The auto shop later threw a retirement party for Brigas where he received another special gift from a co-worker.

“He could sniff out doughnuts wherever they were, and he’d always grab the doughnuts with the sprinkles on top,” said Quinones. “So at the retirement roast, one of my employees gave Albert a container of sprinkles. Now he can use them on his doughnuts in retirement.” 

Brigas is grateful that he doesn’t have to wake up at 5:00 am anymore, all thanks to the good-hearted Quinones.

I feel emotional when I think about what he did for me,” Brigas said. “When something like this happens to change your life, you never forget.” 


  1. Jeremy Baker. Boss pays off his employee’s mortgage to allow him to retire early. Khou 11 . https://www.khou.com/article/life/heartwarming/boss-pays-off-his-employees-mortgage-to-allow-him-to-retire-early/273-d8923e9d-8048-4e7d-9f27-54e8bf06dd14. Retrieved 04-01-2020