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Florida's oldest Marine vet marks birthday

Harry Stephens of Clearwater, the oldest Marine Corps veteran in Florida, celebrated his 103rd birthday Feb. 11 with family and friends at his granddaughter's home in Largo. Stephens, who came to Clearwater in 1980 from Netcong, N.J., lives with his wife, Janet, at the Embassy Mobile Home Park in Clearwater. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in January.

Stephens retired about 30 years ago from the Picatinny government arsenal in Dover, N.J., Mrs. Stephens said.

"It's a plant _ a government plant. Everyone from that area will know about it. They make all the bullets and bombs there.

"We lived most of our married life in Netcong," she said. "He was in World War I a long time ago. He's belonged to the American Legion all these years. He belongs to the post in Hackettstown, N.J."

Stephens is in very good health, she said. "If you met him you'd never think he's 103. He's very active and he doesn't have a pain or an ache.

"But he's hard of hearing _ I have to put up with that," she added with a laugh.

Stephens, on his three-wheeler, delivers grapefruit from his trees to neighbors in the park.

"We have two big trees, and you know two people couldn't use all of the grapefruit," Mrs. Stephens said. "So we share it."

Peggy Shidemann, secretary for the mobile home park, established Stephens' status as the oldest Marine veteran in Florida.

"I checked it out," she said. "I called the Marine Corps office. We determined that he's the oldest in Florida _ maybe even the oldest in the United States. We couldn't determine that."

Oldsmar Rotary gives

library $1,000, plaque

The Rotary Club of Oldsmar recently presented a plaque and a $1,000 check to the Oldsmar Library for its renovation project.

The presentation was made by Rotary president-elect Jason Oxendine to library director Nancy Mellican.

Tarpon Power Squadron

members win citations

hed

Two members of the Tarpon Springs Power Squadron were awarded educational achievement citations for completion of 11 courses offered by the U.S. Power Squadrons.

The courses cover instruction in all phases of boating and navigation.

Advanced courses are offered only to squadron members, but the squadron offers safe boating classes to the public to improve knowledge of handling watercraft.

Frank V.N. Hoagland of Palm Harbor and C. Lee Bowden of Spring Hill, both past commanders of the squadron, were awarded "full certificates" for completion of all the courses.

Couples celebrate 50th

wedding anniversaries

Ballard and Dorothy Long of Clearwater recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a dinner at the Flagship restaurant in Clearwater.

The Longs were married Feb. 3, 1940. He worked for Armco Steel in Middletown, Ohio, before retiring in 1970.

They have two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Elmira and Heinz Schultz of Seminole celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a party for family and friends at Holiday Shores Park.

The Schultzes were married Feb. 17, 1940, in Chicago. They came to Seminole in 1978. He worked for the Walgreen Co. for 50 years and retired as regional supervisor. She worked for the Walgreen Co. for 18 years.

They have two children and four grandchildren.

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