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Tarpon Springs woman celebrates 100th birthday

As an 8-year-old, Theresa McLean of Tarpon Springs remembers seeing Ohio Sen. Warren G. Harding stumping on the 1920 presidential campaign trail in New York City, and can still recall her uncle's return from service in World War I.

McLean celebrated her 100th birthday at a party June 22 with family and staff at the Tarpon Bayou Center, where she has been a resident since mid 2008.

A special proclamation from Gov. Rick Scott was read and Tarpon Springs City Commissioner Jeffrey Larson presented the centenarian with a certificate of recognition and a lapel pin.

She was born Theresa Catherine Phelan to Frank H. and Theresa Nolan Phelan on June 25, 1911, in New York City, the oldest of eight children.

She attended school in New York City and began working in 1926 for New York Telephone, where she finished her college education through the company. She also worked for Long Island Lighting Co. while raising sons James Slattery, now deceased, and Warren F. Law.

After retiring in 1976, she moved to Stony Creek, N.Y., and wintered in Palm Harbor, moving here permanently in 1980.

Her first husband, James Slattery, died in the mid 1980s.

She then married Robert McLean, who died in 1995.

In her younger years, she enjoyed traveling, sewing, knitting, and entertaining family and friends.

When asked what may have contributed to the centenarian's long life, Kendra Law-Snelling said her grandmother "was big on vitamins."

In addition to her son, Mrs. McLean has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

• • •

LaMarr and Lorraine Griffith of Dunedin celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house-style event at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church.

The couple wed June 24, 1961, at Central United Methodist Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Both were public school teachers in the Detroit area. Then he worked in banking for a few years, was employed as director of financial aid at Greenville College, and was a credit manager in the construction industry.

She taught school in Fillmore, Ill., and retired as an elementary school teacher in 2004 from Pasco County Schools.

They came here in 1976 from Greenville, Ill.

Mrs. Griffith received a master of arts degree from the University of South Florida in 1982.

The couple are members of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church.

They have three children, three grandchildren and a great-grandson.

• • •

Chief Warrant Officer Todd A. Murphy relieved Chief Warrant Officer Keith Raisch as commanding officer of the Mobile, Ala.-based Coast Guard Cutter Saginaw in an official change-of-command ceremony in Mobile.

Murphy, a native of Clearwater, previously served at the National Data Buoy Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss. He assumes command of the 160-foot inland construction tender, which is responsible for 1,500 nautical miles of waterways and the maintenance of 1,400 aids to navigation and 40 ranges.

He has served aboard 11 different Coast Guard cutters. His ashore duty stations were at Vessel Traffic Service New Orleans for one year and as a search and rescue controller for two years at Coast Guard Group St. Petersburg.

Murphy is the 11th "master cutterman" of the Coast Guard with more than 22 years of sea service. The honorary title of "master cutterman" is awarded to enlisted members with 20 years of sea duty.

• • •

Hannah Leigh Zazzaro of Palm Harbor was chosen, along with three other YoungArts alumni, to be filmed while working with musician Bobby McFerrin in Baden-Baden, Germany, on July 4 through 11, resulting in a half-hour episode for the second season of HBO's Masterclass documentary series.

In addition, Zazzaro was selected as a National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts YoungArts Silver Award winner for voice and as a merit award winner for musical theater.

This year, the Countryside High senior received the Shirley Rabb Winston Vocal Scholarship from the National Association of Arts and Letters, Florida State Thespian Scholarship, the Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts Vocal Scholarship, and an Arts for Life! Scholarship for Theater from Columba Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Last year, Zazzaro won the Ruth Eckerd Hall Youth Vocal Scholarship and the Pinellas Education Foundation Walker's Rising Stars Vocal Scholarship.

In 2008, she won the Schmidt Vocal Competition, a national scholarship competition sponsored by the University of Kentucky.

The 18-year-old will attend the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and major in musical theater.

Tarpon Springs woman celebrates 100th birthday 07/19/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2011 9:19am]
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