Mary Celeste (Dossel) McConnell of Clearwater celebrated her 100th birthday Sept. 19 at Sylvan Health Center on the campus of Regency Oaks, Clearwater. The event was celebrated with family and friends.
She was born in Tampa Sept. 21, 1908 to John G. and Florence (Robles) Dossel. A brother, Gibbon Dossel, and a sister, Gerry Dossel Loughren, are deceased.
Growing up in Tampa, she remembers watching the Gasparilla parade with her friends in a special viewing area provided for them by her father, an employee of Atlantic Coastline Warehouse.
After graduating from Hillsborough High School in 1929, she enrolled in nursing school in West Palm Beach. In 1930, she married her high school sweetheart, Milton C. McConnell. Mr. and Mrs. McConnell were married 75 years before his death in 2005 at age 97. Their family includes two daughters, Marilyn McConnell of Louisiana, and Ann Tuten of Belleair; two granddaughters, Stephanie Reed and Tracy Sever; and five great-grandchildren.
Mrs. McConnell attributes her longevity to "a happy childhood with a wonderful mother and father." She also feels her life flourished because of the easy compatibility with her husband and family.
Her husband worked 30 years for the post office and, after retirement, he and Mrs. McConnell traveled the United States.
In 1998, they sold their home and moved to Regency Oaks in Clearwater. Mrs. McConnell relocated in 2005 to Sylvan Terrace Assisted Living Facility, where she enjoys arts and ceramics and is an expert seashell artist.
Mrs. McConnell's philosophy about health is pretty basic. She firmly believes in clean living, eating sensibly and exercising regularly to protect her health.
A pair of special anniversaries
Dr. James W. and Isabel Kiriazis of Tarpon Springs and Youngstown, Ohio, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in the company of koumbari, relatives and friends.
The couple wed on Sept. 4, 1948, in Warren, Ohio.
Dr. Kiriazis was a professor at Youngstown State University and Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown, Ohio.
Mrs. Kiriazis was a social worker and artist, and also worked in the Records Office of Youngstown State University.
The couple have five children, and five grandchildren.
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Dick and Dottie Miller celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary with family and friends at a favorite Oldsmar restaurant, then served coffee and dessert at their Palm Harbor home.
The couple married July 11, 1953, at First Baptist Church, Burlington, N.J.
They came here in 2002 from Fort Johnson, N.Y.
He retired in 1986 from his automobile dealership.
She has been a community volunteer for many years and is activity director for the Women's Connection.
They are members of Life Path Christian Center, Tarpon Springs.
The Millers have three sons, Mark Miller, Richard Miller and Bill Miller; two daughters, Linda Calleja and Jocelyn Miller; and seven grandchildren.
Gabe Brown reaches martial arts milestone
Gabe Brown, son of Greg and Theresa Brown of Clearwater, earned his second degree junior black belt in martial arts through Chris Sutton's United Martial Arts and Fitness in Clearwater. His studies included karate, kickboxing, aikido, stranger awareness, personal safety and escape techniques from a potential attacker.
The 9-year-old has been training since he was 5 and earned his first degree junior black belt last year.
Gabe is an honor roll student at St. Cecelia Interparochial School, and a Webelos Cub Scout with Pack 404 at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, both in Clearwater.
Young essayists take home scholarships
The 2008 "Write Your Way to a Scholarship" essay contest concluded recently with an awards ceremony at East Lake Community Library.
This year's focus was "Make Dreams Real," and the essays by the teens varied widely, from volunteerism to dreams of careers.
The winners in age group 14-18 were Jordan Luther, $500; Jordona Lipkin, $200; and Brittany Lyp, $100. Winners in age group 11-13 were Timothy Hatton, $500; Matthew Lipkin, $200; and Christopher Noble, $100.
The contest, in its second year, is a collaborative project between the Friends of East Lake Library and the Rotary Club of East Lake Sunrise.
To submit an item , write to Nova Beall, 710 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756. Fax to (727) 445-4119 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.