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Dunedin resident Jane McAllaster celebrates her 100th birthday

Good For You | by Nova Beall

Jane McAllaster of Dunedin celebrated her 100th birthday with a reception Jan. 5 in her condo's clubhouse.

She was born Jan. 6, 1913, in Buffalo, N.Y., the second of three children of Ada (Metzler) and William Anderson. Following her 1931 graduation from Bennett High, she worked as a spokesmodel showcasing new electric appliances at a model home in Buffalo.

She married Paul D. Graves, a Harvard-educated lawyer and a Navy veteran of World War II. While her husband, a lieutenant junior grade in the Naval Reserve, was ordered to active duty in the South Pacific, she lived with the Graves family in Gouverneur, N.Y., and attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, N. Y.

In 1949, Mr. Graves succeeded his mother, Rhoda Fox Graves, in the New York state Senate. Four years later he was appointed to the New York Supreme Court.

He served on the bench and managed the Graves family farms in Gouverneur until his death in 1972. During this time, the couple restored a historic farmhouse and she was active in the Presbyterian Church, historical society and garden club. Summers were spent at their home on the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay, N.Y. It was during this time that they began wintering in Florida.

In 1975, Jane married Joseph F. McAllaster, another prominent Gouverneur man and Dunedin resident. She lost her son, Christopher Fox Graves, in 1975. McAllaster passed away in 1987.

A year-round resident of Dunedin since the late 1990s, she has served her condo community as a resident board representative. She golfed as much as she could (with two holes-in-one to her credit) and was an active member of the Dunedin and Gouverneur country clubs. She's a fan of Scrabble and card games and participated in contract bridge games in the condo clubhouse.

She continually sought to better her golf and bridge games and read voraciously. "Good, better, best — never give it a rest!" is one of her favorite phrases.

McAllaster is sustained by her strong faith. She takes comfort in the belief that she will see beloved family members once again.

• • •

During the month of December, the entire student body at Clearwater's Westlake Christian School participated in "Westlake Cares at Christmas," the school's annual holiday outreach program.

Each of Westlake's 18 homeroom classes, along with the middle school's Student Government Association and National Junior Honor Society, chose a community service agency to adopt during the Christmas holiday season. Teachers organized drives for food, clothing and toiletries, planned service trips to help on-site at organizations, and invited speakers to the school.

Westlake's first-grade classes donated more than 150 boxes of cereal to the Hope Children's Home in Tampa, a fourth-grade class donated collected food to Oldsmar Cares, and the Middle School Student Council held a dessert reception where more than $700 was raised for Metropolitan Ministries.

For its third annual outreach program, Westlake partnered with Pinellas Hope, Kimberly Home Pregnancy Resource Center, Raising Hope, Homeless Emergency Project, Hope Children's Home, Ronald McDonald House, Good Samaritan Mission, Oldsmar Cares, Pinellas Hope, F.E.A.S.T. food pantry, Suncoast Hospice, the Shepherd Center, Religious Community Services and Metropolitan Ministries.

Westlake principal Rick Pucci pointed out that the goal of the project is not just to lend a helping hand, but to connect students to their community through compassionate service. "Our Westlake Cares program is a way for our students to share their blessings with others during this important time of the year."

Mail Good For You items to Nova Beall at 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email nbeall@tampabay.com.

Dunedin resident Jane McAllaster celebrates her 100th birthday 01/08/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 7:13pm]
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