Isabel Batchelder of Clearwater celebrated her 100th birthday with family members and friends at Bob Heilman's Beachcomber Restaurant on Clearwater Beach. Mrs. Batchelder's great-great-grandnephew, Abel Dawson from Hungary, traveled the farthest to participate in the centenarian's party, hosted by Tempe Frank and Lynne McCaskill.
She was born June 29, 1911, to the Good family of Seddon Avenue in the small, blue collar steel town of North Braddock, Pa. Two brothers and a sister have passed away.
Mrs. Batchelder attended Shady Park Elementary School and was in the first graduating class of the newly built Scott High in North Braddock. She was active in Scouting and a good athlete.
While working at Westinghouse Electric Corp., she met and married Robert C. Smith. She also was employed in a dental office as an assistant, secretary and X-ray technician and, during World War II, worked for the Red Cross.
She settled in as a housewife and for many years took care of her husband's mother, Florence Smith.
After Mr. Smith passed away, she met Fred Batchelder and they were married.
For 39 years, Mrs. Batchelder has lived on Island Estates. She still does daily crossword puzzles and keeps her home sparkling clean. She was a member of the Island Estates Women's Club and also a member of the Chapel By The Sea.
She appreciates the care provided by her nephew and his wife, Jim and Linda Dawson, and enjoys evenings of wine and cheese in the company of neighbors.
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Dunedin resident John Ross achieved centenarian status July 4 and celebrated the event with a birthday party at Mease Manor. Most of his family, as well as many friends and members of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, helped him celebrate the event.
He was born July 4, 1911, in Brighton, N.Y., to William and Elizabeth Ross and was the first of the couple's nine children.
While a freshman in high school, Ross began delivering newspapers to streetcars six days a week for 3 cents per paper. For his newspaper work, he received $20 per week, which was a hefty wage for a teenager in 1928.
In high school, he enjoyed courses in mechanical and engineering drawing. To help support his parent's growing family, he quit high school in his junior year and got a job as a drafting trainee at Davenport Machine and Tool Co., a Rochester company that manufactured machines that made steel screws. He was employed more than 47 years with the company in positions including head draftsman, vice president and corporate secretary, and retired in 1976.
He married Laurene Deltollander on Aug. 30, 1935. Three children followed. The family enjoyed trips to New York City and vacations in the Adirondack Mountains, Niagara Falls and Washington, D.C.
The Rosses came to Dunedin in 1977. A year later, Ross became a member of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, where he helped the financial secretary count and balance the Sunday collection for the next 14 years. He also became a state shuffleboard professional in the early '80s.
Laurene Ross died in 1989.
In April 1990, John married his second wife, Retah Hummel. They enjoyed riverboat excursions and cruise ship adventures to Alaska, the Panama Canal and the Caribbean Islands. He became a big baseball and football fan and also began playing golf.
In August 2002, at age 91, Ross completed the high school equivalency program and received his GED.
Retah Ross passed away this year.
In addition to his children, Ross has five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
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John Wylde and Tom and Alice Anderson, city of Dunedin Senior Hall of Fame inductees for 2011, were honored May 18 at the 2011 Inductee Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at the Dr. William E. Hale Senior Activity Center.
Since moving to Dunedin, John Wylde has demonstrated his service to the community by volunteering more that 13,700 hours with Dunedin Mease Hospital, the city's Board of Finance, Dunedin North Rotary and the Rotary International Foundation.
Tom Anderson served as the mayor of Dunedin and as a state representative and has made significant contributions to seniors and his community.
Alice Anderson served 14 years on the Mease Hospital Auxiliary and its board of directors. She also worked extensively as the chairwoman on the city of Dunedin's Comprehensive Planning and Advisory Committee for the 2010 plan and the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee.
This year's winners were introduced with a slide show backdrop and honored with plaques.
The Dunedin's Committee on Aging calls for nominations each February for the Senior Hall of Fame as a way to celebrate and recognize older Dunedin residents who have made significant contributions to their community.
Inductees must be 75 years or older and have lived in Dunedin for at least 10 years. They have donated time and abilities to activities serving the community and have demonstrated the art of aging successfully.
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Andrew B. Clark of Boy Scout Troop 422 earned the rank of Eagle Scout on June 13 at a Board of Review.
Andrew is entering his junior year at Palm Harbor University High, where he is active in the music program. He is a member of the Lutheran Church of the Palms in Palm Harbor, where he built a memory garden as his Eagle project.
He is the son of Kevin and Laurie Clark of Palm Harbor.