Georgia Fischer of Dunedin celebrated her 101st birthday Feb. 22 with a lunch party at her home with a small group of friends.
She was born Feb. 22, 1893, in Beardstown, Ill. She said she was named Georgia because she was born on George Washington's birthday.
Miss Fischer says that a "balanced life, balanced diet and a good outlook on life" have helped her live to 101. "You just have to look on the best side of everything. Have something that you're really interested in. It's so important to do something that keeps your mind active."
She earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, and a master's degree in education from Columbia University, New York City.
Miss Fischer taught for 35 years at Stephen Decatur High School in Decatur, Ill., where she was head of the math department. She taught trigonometry and college algebra. She is still in contact with former pupils, including foreign exchange students from Germany, Norway, Italy and Japan.
"I think I've done a lot of good in teaching kids. I love what I did. Whatever you do in life, you ought to like to do it," Miss Fischer said. "The kids could tell, too. A kid called on my birthday that I taught 50 years ago. He said, "We knew you liked us.' I said, "Yes, I liked you all.' I feel satisfied that I've given enough to pay for my time on earth."
An avid bridge player for 80 years, she had to quit last year because of failing eyesight. After retiring from teaching math, she taught bridge at the Decatur YWCA.
In 1964 she went on a bridge tour cruise to Hong Kong and Japan with bridge master Charles Goren and 75 students. In Japan, the students were teamed with Japanese partners. She remembers her partner, Osada. "She didn't speak English and I didn't speak Japanese. But we won first place in the duplicate tournament and second place in a foursome duplicate tournament," Miss Fischer said. "Bridge is a universal language."
Miss Fischer moved here in 1971 from Decatur.
"She's so smart, we all just love her. I've known her 13 years," said Orine Warner, a neighbor. "She's very sociable. She really keeps going just because she's got so much fortitude."
Of her age, Miss Fischer said, "I don't feel 101. I never think about being 101."
She likes to keep up on current events. "I like TV. I'm awfully interested in the country and the news. Some people don't care as they get older, but I do," she said. "You can't think back, you just have to go forward. I try to think young and think in the present."
Although she thinks some things, like crime, have gotten worse, she believes they will get better. "As far as the good old days, I don't know they were so darn good," she said. "It's important to be interested in the present and not the past. I always believe in progress. That's the way we got ahead in the first place. I think it's wonderful that the mind has developed the things that it has. You always want to think positive."
Joseph and Charlotte Rubint of Dunedin celebrated their 50th anniversary last Saturday with a dinner party at the Brown Derby restaurant in Clearwater. The couple were married Feb. 28, 1944, in Champaign, Ill. He worked 37 years as a foreman at Diamond Shamrock in Painesville, Ohio. They are members of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church of Dunedin. The Rubints, who came here in 1974 from Painesville, have a daughter, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.