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Chester County Press

Oxford man celebrates milestone 100th birthday at Ware

Oxford man celebrates milestone 100th birthday at Ware

Ware Presbyterian Village, a retirement community in Oxford, recently celebrated the 100th birthday of Independent Living resident Don Flessner.  

Not many residents make it to 100 years old in Independent Living.  Over 130 residents gathered in the Ware auditorium to entertain and celebrate Don and to bring back some memories. Arrangements were made with our local Oxford Union Fire Company to pick Don up at his home and drive him, with sirens blaring, up to the auditorium.  It fulfilled one of his lifelong “bucket list” items. What an entrance!

Don and his wife, Edith, moved to Ware in February of 2004. Don became active in the community and was the president of the Independent Living Resident Association in 2007. Following the death of his wife in 2017, Don continued to live independently – driving, weeding his flower beds, taking care of himself.  

Don worked for the railroad for most of his career.  He started with the Pennsylvania Railroad and survived the merger with the New York Central and when all the freight railroads became Conrail. He retired in 1989, after 32 years with railroads. 

In honor of Don, the auditorium was elaborately decorated. The Ware Model Train Club set up a model railroad train display and old Pennsylvania Railroad calendars. There were also photos of highlights of Don’s life. Red tablecloths, flowers grown by residents as centerpieces, balloons at every table, and, of course, cake and punch provided by the executive chef of the kitchen enhanced the setting and added to the celebratory atmosphere.

Party entertainment included Ware’s Chimes Group playing “Happy Birthday” and everybody singing along, resident Jim Dalmas singing several songs with his guitar, including “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” and Ware’s singing group leading all residents in a couple of songs, ending with “Happy Birthday” again.