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Good For You | Nova Beall

Alice Bruns begins a second century

Alice Bruns was treated to an early 100th birthday party May 25 with fellow residents of Belleair Towers Retirement Community and was served her favorite dinner: prime rib. Two days later, she celebrated again with family and close friends at a luncheon at Belleview Biltmore Country Club.

She was born Alice Valleau Ramsey on May 27, 1910, in Hackensack, N.J., to Mr. and Mrs. John Ramsey. The family included a brother, John Jr., three years her senior.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she graduated from Vassar College in 1931 with a bachelor's degree in languages and was fluent in French, German, Italian and Latin.

Because America was in the grip of the Great Depression, Alice's father was of the opinion the men of the country needed the jobs to feed their families and refused to allow her to look for work. She respected his wishes, busied herself with volunteer work, and also earned a pilot's license.

After getting married, she and her husband, along with an 18-year-old hired hand, sailed the Caribbean in a 42-foot ketch for six months.

She has traveled extensively, visiting most of the world with the exception of a few Middle Eastern countries. She's also been to all 50 states.

In 1969, she and her husband moved from New Jersey to Largo, where she lived for 35 years. She came to Belleair Towers in 2004.

Mrs. Brun believes that physical and mental activity are very important. Until a fall at age 98, she walked the Pinellas Trail daily. She continues to participate in exercise classes and takes the stairs to her apartment. For mental stimulation, she finishes the St. Petersburg Times crossword puzzle every day.

Mrs. Brun says she inherited a wonderful family by marriage: two sons; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; two nephews; and a great-nephew.

• • •

Patrick and Sheila Farmer of Clearwater celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a dinner with family at Bern's Steak House in Tampa and plan a trip to Ireland this summer.

The couple would meet for dates on the steps of St. Barnabus Catholic Church in Woodlawn, Bronx, N.Y. They married in the church May 28, 1960.

The couple came here in 1969 from Jacksonville.

He was associate director of religious education for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

She taught special education classes for 27 years at Kings Highway Elementary and is now retired.

They are members of St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Clearwater, and are volunteers with the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The Farmers have three children and five grandchildren.

• • •

Mike and Roberta Nilsson of Dunedin married May 29, 1960, in Merrick, N.Y., and recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a big party with family and friends.

The couple met at a young age and attended nursing school together.

They came here in 1982 from Holbrook, N.Y.

He is a Navy veteran and retired New York City firefighter. He became a registered nurse and specialized in public health.

She retired from a career as a school nurse.

He is a member of the Gene O'Kane Retired Firefighter Division and the Dunedin Elks Club.

Both belong to the Florida Nurses Association and American Nurses Association, and serve on the council of Lutheran Church of the Palms, Palm Harbor.

The Nilssons have two children and five grandchildren.

• • •

Daniel Gilford of Clearwater has won a scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship Program.

The scholarship program provides academic assistance of up to $8,000 per academic year for the junior and senior years as well as full-time, paid summer internships with a NOAA agency

Gilford, a 21-year old sophomore at Florida State University, said the Hollings Scholarship will provide him with research opportunities that will help him as he pursues his goal of earning a doctoral degree. He has a double major in meteorology and applied mathematics.

To submit an item , write to Nova Beall, 710 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756. Fax to (727) 445-4119 or e-mail sbeall@sptimes.com. Good For You includes news of 50th wedding anniversaries, people celebrating their 100th birthday (or more) and young people's noteworthy achievements academically, in the arts or community service. For information or an anniversary form, call (727) 445-4221.

Alice Bruns begins a second century 06/01/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 7:04pm]

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