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'True gentleman' celebrates 100th birthday in Clearwater

Amanda Miller, left, Margaret Chiriaco and teacher Mrs. Klee of St. Cecelia’s Green Team work on the Florida Native Plant Garden.

Special to the Times

Amanda Miller, left, Margaret Chiriaco and teacher Mrs. Klee of St. Cecelia’s Green Team work on the Florida Native Plant Garden.

Robert Campbell, a resident of Highland Terrace Assisted Living Facility since 2002, celebrated his 100th birthday at the Clearwater facility Monday. Eddie Rivers provided the musical entertainment.

He was born Nov. 2, 1909, to Florence Belle Peterson, a Maine native, and Roland Campbell, originally from Canada.

In 1935, he married Edith Craig James in Portland, Maine. They were married 69 years until her death on June 13, 2004. The couple had no children.

Mr. Campbell worked more than 20 years for the Central Maine Power Co.

In 1952, he moved to Florida, where he owned and operated Campbell's Laundromat until 1975.

The centenarian has always had an interest in sports and enjoys playing cards and bingo. He still sets up the bingo game at Highland Terrace.

He has always watched his diet, never putting on too much weight and believes in exercising and walking. He doesn't use a cane or walker.

He smoked until 1946 when his doctor advised him to stop, but still enjoys a nightly cocktail with dinner to this day.

Activities director Patti Toban describes Mr. Campbell as "a true gentleman. He is very well liked by the staff and residents."

Mr. Campbell isn't bothered by the small things in life. He likes to volunteer and continues to help others.

• • •

Rogers Heart Foundation recently awarded Diana Burgess, RN, CCRN, BSN, the Alyce Rowswell Schroeder Educational Scholarship, in the amount of $1,000.

This award honors the original head nurse of the area's first cardiac catheterization laboratory founded in 1959 and housed in St. Anthony's Hospital, St. Petersburg.

The foundation also awarded Burgess $1,500 per semester to complete her master's degree. Over the years, the foundation has furthered the postgraduate education of nurses in the five Tampa Bay counties with more than $300,000 awarded.

Burgess teaches as an adjunct clinical instructor for the St. Petersburg College of Nursing in Pinellas Park and will pursue a degree at the University of Central Florida.

She worked with several of the area's leading pioneer cardiologists who helped found Rogers Heart Foundation, Dr. Frank LaCamera and Dr. Ed Swanick. She also spent 16 years as the chief flight nurse for an international critical care air ambulance, transporting patients all over the world.

She survived a plane crash while transporting a patient in 2002 and nearly died from her injuries. Rogers Heart Foundation enabled her to attain her BSN online through St. Petersburg College in 2006 while still recovering.

Upon graduation, Burgess plans to continue teaching and inspiring student nurses. She will also continue to teach advanced cardiac life support throughout the Tampa Bay area.

She and her husband Edward live in Largo.

• • •

The Green Team, a group of students in fourth through eighth grades at St. Cecelia School in Clearwater, are constantly thinking of new ways to educate their fellow students. Recently, their projects have included adding 150 plants to the school's Florida Native Plant Garden, as well as mulching, weeding and designing and installing light switches with energy conservation messages.

Future projects will include field trips, guest speakers, the installation of benches and rain barrels and gardening.

To submit an item, write to Nova Beall, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. E-mail or fax to (727) 445-4119. 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.

'True gentleman' celebrates 100th birthday in Clearwater 11/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 7:00pm]
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