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Medina’s George Lovelady celebrates 100 years of healthy living

MEDINA, Ohio — On March 24, George Lovelady celebrated his 100th birthday, surrounded by 60 members of his family at the Western Reserve Masonic Community, 4931 Nettleton Road, Medina.

Lovelady could serve as a poster child for Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation”: Born in 1919 in Cambridge, Ohio, Lovelady graduated from Muskingum College in 1941, joined the Army Air Corps in February 1942, and served during Word War II at Thurleigh Air Base in Bedfordshire, England, until October 1945.

He came home from the war, married his sweetheart, Marjorie, and worked for the Standard Oil Company of Ohio until his retirement in October 1979. Along the way, he and Marjorie raised five children during their 72 years of marriage.

When asked how he proposed to her, he answered that he never really did. Wanting to commit to a life together before he shipped out to England, he had arranged to meet his parents and Marjorie in Massachusetts. Because of a scheduling glitch, he never saw them and had to report to his ship.

By phone, he asked his mother to take Marjorie to a jewelry store to choose an engagement ring. They bought the ring, and the couple was engaged without a proposal ever being made.

During the war, Marjorie worked for the FBI in Washington, D.C. As soon as George returned to the States in 1945, she quit her job, and they were married on Nov. 4, 1945. Marjorie died in April 2018.

Lovelady said his secret to longevity is keeping active and being close to his family. In addition to playing tennis until he was 92, he spent much of his life bicycling, camping, boating and fishing. His children say he was a real family man and a good role model. They say that when they reunite, “everybody likes everybody.”

At Western Reserve, he eats meals with younger men — one is 95, the other is 97. He says their table is called “The Old Goats’ Table.” With a twinkle in his eye, Lovelady states that the halls of the home are like a neighborhood; he regularly visits with friends, and his children are amazed by how many people he knows and how many names he remembers.

He drove his car until six months ago — the family said that in recent years, he drove only in Medina.

Lovelady spends his days talking with family members on the phone, sleeping and staying in touch with the extended family on Facebook and Instagram.

On Sunday, March 24, the family hosted a party at Western Reserve for family and friends. Family members arrived from Florida, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana to help him celebrate a long, productive life.

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