(CBS) — After 50 years of working in the kitchen of Lurie Children’s Hospital, Bettye Tucker is retiring this week.

“I love cooking and I love people,” she says.

Tucker, 71,  has worked for the children’s hospital since 1966.

“I didn’t realize how many people that I had such an impact on their lives. It was just a job I did,” she said Thursday.

The job lasted 50 years.

“Last night was kind of sad because people was coming down, bringing me cards and stuff and embracing me. It kind of made me a little sad, you know. But I have to go.”

The staff at Lurie will tell you Miss Bettye, as she’s called, is famous for her grilled cheese sandwich and especially her French toast.

But when she retires, she’s taking the recipe with her.

“Because it’s a secret,” she says.