Sam Kessler of Palm Harbor celebrated his 100th birthday with a party at Manor Care in the company of friends and family, some of whom came from Maryland and Chicago.
He was born May 14, 1911, in St. Louis, Mo.
Kessler completed two years of college. He worked in the shoe business as a salesman and factory representative, and owned a shoe store on the south side of Chicago.
He and wife Sadie, nicknamed "Rusty", were married for 67 years until her passing in the early 2000s.
Kessler always looked younger than his years. At age 75, he applied for work at a shoe store in Fort Lauderdale and got the job.
"He just enjoys life and loves the ladies," said daughter-in-law Ellyn Kessler. "He likes to joke and tease and talk."
He came to Clearwater in 2004 from Fort Lauderdale and has been a resident of Manor Care in Palm Harbor for 15 months.
In Fort Lauderdale, he was active in B'nai B'rith International. Locally he participated in men's clubs at Aston Gardens ALF in Tampa and Stratford Court in Palm Harbor.
He is a member of Temple Ahavat Shalom, Palm Harbor.
A pacemaker has slowed Kessler down a bit. Before it was installed in February 2010, he liked to walk and was more physically active.
Kessler is the father of two sons, Joel Kessler of Chicago and the late Marshall Kessler. He has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
"I don't know if living a long time ever occurred to him," said Kessler's daughter-in-law, in an attempt to explain the centenarian's practical philosophy. "For him, one day has always just followed another."
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Oldsmar city manager reaches milestone
Bruce T. Haddock has held the position of city manager for the city of Oldsmar for 25 years.
"Rather than saying I'm the oldest city manager in Pinellas County, which might not be exactly true," Haddock told employees, "let's say I've been city manager for a greater length of time than most others."
Haddock achieved the government management milestone May 12.
The national average tenure for a city manager is seven years, based on the International City-County Management Association's 2009 State of the Profession survey; the national average number of years in a local government management profession is 20 years. Haddock stands out for having been in local government management a total of 37 years, and employed 25 years as Oldsmar's city manager.
Twenty-five years ago, Haddock stepped into his position in a city with dirt streets, no recreation programs, two parks employees and EMS provided by a nearby city's fire department. City Hall was located in the Oldsmar Bank building, which was in such poor condition that the second floor could not be occupied.
Today, Haddock manages a city that is home to a multitude of local, regional and global business enterprises and its Alternative Water Supply Project, now in its final phase of a 10-year process, will make Oldsmar an independent water producer. Following major renovation and reconstruction, the Oldsmar Bank building will reopen in September housing a council chamber, Oldsmar Historical Society museum and Upper Tampa Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce as a tenant.
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Outstanding Marine Corps Jr. ROTC Cadet
Cadet Lt. Col. Jonathan Arsenault of the Marine Corps Junior ROTC program at Clearwater High School was recently selected by his superiors as the outstanding cadet of the year. As a result of this achievement, the Marine Corps League, Morris F. Dixon, Jr. Detachment 54, honored Arsenault with a Distinguished Service Medal and a $500 savings bond.
VFW Post 2473 of Clearwater also honored the cadet with a $250 check for his outstanding achievement.
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Bicycles donated for local kids in Largo
Bank of America donated 100 bicycles to local youth in conjunction with the St. Anthony's Meek and Mighty Triathlon. The children represent Team Under Pressure Basketball Organization and the YMCA of the Suncoast's Greater Ridgecrest Branch. Some of the recipients received their bikes at a presentation May 2 at the Greater Ridgecrest YMCA in Largo.
The bikes were purchased through local bike shop Outspokin Bicycles and funded by Bank of America.
The YMCA of the Suncoast is a cause-driven, charitable organization that strengthens the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.