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Palm Harbor woman celebrates 100th birthday

Four generations of family came from as far away as Texas, New York, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to help Cecelia Pauken celebrate her 100th birthday at a niece's residence in Clearwater. A perfect gift for the centenarian, whose great joy throughout her life has been socializing with family members and friends.

Mrs. Pauken, a resident of St. Mark Assisted Living in Palm Harbor, was born March 4, 1909, in Allentown, Pa., to Austrian-born parents Ignatius and Theresa Garger. She was one of six children; three boys and three girls.

After graduating from high school, Mrs. Pauken entered business college and had a long, successful career as an executive with an insurance company.

She married Frank Grigg in 1928 and the couple lived in Allentown. In 1944 they relocated with their daughter to Rydal, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb. Upon Mr. Grigg's retirement from the Budd Co. in Philadelphia, the couple lived in several Florida cities, indulging their hobbies of bridge games and golfing. They also enjoyed meeting with family from other states on a regular basis and vacationing in the Poconos and at the New Jersey seashore.

After 50 years of marriage, Mr. Grigg passed away in 1978.

Three years later, Mrs. Pauken, then living in Seven Springs, married Jules Pauken. The couple spent nine years together until his death in 1990. She then moved to the Gardens of Beacon Square, New Port Richey, where she played bridge and was very active with hobbies. An accomplished pianist, Mrs. Pauken enjoyed playing the piano, solving daily crossword puzzles, crocheting, knitting and sewing difficult projects and in her spare time she would "shop till she dropped."

For the past 10 years, she's been a resident of St. Mark Village in Palm Harbor.

"Accept that which you cannot change," is the 100-year-old's simple philosophy.

Mrs. Pauken had a daughter who died in 1984; a grandson; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

• • •

Clearwater High senior Joshua Montaad earned a $500 college scholarship and certificate as the winner of the countywide 2008 "Power of the Pen" essay contest. The award was presented by Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark.

Contest judges were Clark and St. Petersburg Times columnist Howard Troxler, who both ranked Joshua's essay first among the entries.

Joshua, son of Delfin and Leila Montaad of Safety Harbor, plans to attend the University of South Florida. He is a cadet in the Marine Corps JROTC and accepted the award in uniform.

The contest, open to Pinellas County high school seniors, encourages interest and participation in the democratic voting process.

• • •

Matthew J. Stewart, a senior at Countryside High, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. He is a member of Troop 413, chartered by Northwood Presbyterian Church.

Stewart's Eagle Scout project consisted of organizing and managing a food drive for Religious Community Services. Over the course of 167 hours and with the help of three local schools and about 50 volunteers, more than 1,000 pounds of food was delivered.

He is the son of Jim Stewart of Safety Harbor and Jeri Stewart of Clearwater.

• • •

Ten-year old Madison Spray, a fourth-grader from Espiritu Santo Catholic School, Safety Harbor, earned top individual and team scores at "Math Day," a day of fun math games and activities hosted by the Math Honor Society at Clearwater Central Catholic High School.

Fourth-grade contestants from Clearwater's St. Cecelia Catholic School and Holy Family in St. Petersburg also participated in the competition.

Madison is the daughter of Jeff and Donna Spray of Oldsmar.

To submit an item , write to Nova Beall, 710 Court St., 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.

Palm Harbor woman celebrates 100th birthday 03/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 5:17pm]

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