After 40 years on the job, a well-loved janitor at a Nova Scotia nursing home is hanging up his mop and broom and leaving his janitorial duties behind.

Johnny MacLeod was hired on as a janitor and maintenance helper at the Shiretown Nursing Home in Pictou, N.S., right out of high school in 1978.

“My favourite part I like is to help, help some people,” he says.

MacLeod lives with Down syndrome, but that hasn’t impacted his job or his attendance. His co-workers say he rarely calls in sick and never complains.

“No matter what you would ask of him, he would never say to you, ‘That’s not my job,’” says support services manager Carolyn Zwicker. “He just takes it and just goes with it. He’s just amazing. We can’t imagine life without our little Johnny.”

Over the years MacLeod has met hundreds of residents and staff at the Shiretown Nursing Home. They say his work ethic and kind demeanour set him apart.

“Everybody loves him, they all do, speak very highly of Johnny because he’s there for everybody,” says resident Margie Dorie.

“He’s a great worker and we’re going to miss him terribly,” says resident Jean Jamieson.

Zwicker says she sad to see him go, but acknowledges that it’s time for MacLeod to take a break and focus on himself after four decades of looking after others.

“I’m so happy for him because he’s worked so hard for so many years, but it’s just not seeing that face, and he’s always hugging,” says Zwicker. “He just loves everybody and it’s really sad. It’s going to be one of the saddest days ever.”

As for MacLeod, he says he’s excited to give retirement a try.

“I think I’ll be happy to retire, yeah,” he says.

MacLeod’s 40 years of service will be celebrated at a party at the nursing home later this month, but for once, he won’t be in charge of the cleanup.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh