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105 years old and not slowing down

Everett "Bud" Hamilton Gue, known as "Pappy" to his family, lives on the independent side of Coral Oaks Senior Living Facility in Palm Harbor, despite being the oldest resident there. The Tampa Bay Rays and Buccaneers fan loves to read, watch TV and have dinner out, especially if ice cream is involved.

Family and friends gathered Sept. 10 at Coral Oaks to wish the 105-year old a happy birthday.

He was born Sept. 10, 1906 on a farm outside Baltimore. He attended school up to the eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse. The student body numbered roughly 20 to 25 pupils, and he was the only fifth-grader in his class.

When Gue was about 12 years old, the family's home caught fire on Christmas Eve and burned to the ground. The only structure that could be saved was the meat house. It wasn't long after he and his family moved in with neighbors that the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 struck. Most of the occupants became ill, but all survived. The family then took up residence in the city of Baltimore.

Gue married three times, surviving all of his wives. He met his first wife, Loretta Householder, in the sixth grade. In 1929 the couple married in Albany, N.Y. Their only child, a daughter named Bettye, was born in 1930.

During the early years of their marriage, he sold Royal typewriters. In 1944 at the age of 36, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as an office record keeper in the Philippines. After his discharge in 1946, he worked for Westinghouse as a buyer and retired in 1971. He spent his leisure time target shooting and playing golf.

Gue's first wife died in 1982. His second wife, Helen, died shortly after their marriage. After marrying his third wife Hilda, the couple moved to Florida where she passed away from Alzheimer's disease. Gue and his last love, Ruth, moved into Coral Oaks together and spent 12 years in each other's company until her death four years ago.

He's still very sharp and keeps score two nights a week at pinochle, tallying numbers in his head before writing them down.

"He's also a master gin rummy player. Mom and I lost many games to him," said granddaughter Wendy Schultz, a resident of Henderson, Nev., who travels to see her grandfather twice a year.

Gue has another granddaughter, Laurie Palazollo of Long Branch, N.J., and a great-granddaughter, Amanda Huffine of Henderson.

When asked what his secret to his long life is, Gue said, "I just get out of bed every morning."

• • •

Robert and Catherine Forrester of Dunedin celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a small family dinner at Olive Garden Restaurant.

They married Sept. 3, 1951 in Falkirk, Scotland.

The couple came to Dunedin in August 2008 from Cambridge, Ontario.

In 1952, he began work with David Brown Ltd. in Canada, creating business branches for its tractor division. He retired in 1998 from Norcan Farm Equipment Ltd.

She stayed busy as a homemaker raising their children.

They are members of Cornerstone Christian Center, Dunedin.

The couple have two children and three grandchildren.

• • •

In honor of their 70th wedding anniversary, Frank and Olive Drozd of Palm Harbor dined with family and friends at Bon Appetit Restaurant, Dunedin.

They married in Detroit on Sept. 13, 1941.

He worked for Chrysler and Dodge as a truck repairman.

She worked for Dodge as a secretary.

The couple came here in 1977 from Detroit.

For three years the Drozds toured the country in their motor home, then traveled to Europe and Hawaii.

They are members of Espiritu Santo Catholic Church, Safety Harbor.

Both play on Highland Lakes golf and bowling leagues and enjoy weekly pinochle games.

An Army veteran of World War II, he served in Africa, Sicily and Italy as a member of the 3rd Infantry Division. He was awarded a Purple Heart and is a member of Disabled American Veterans.

The couple have two children, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

105 years old and not slowing down 09/13/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 9:17am]

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