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George Olson's 100th Birthday Celebration

July 15, 2022

     George Paul Olson celebrated his 100th birthday among family, friends, and dignitaries on Sunday June 26th, 2022. Born on June 26th, 1922, the gathering marked his 100th year of life to-the-day. Family members representing four generations of George’s family joined him for this momentous occasion, and they all enjoyed reminiscing about fond family memories as they celebrated. Homemade cupcakes were provided by George’s family; neatly arranging them in the form of the number “100” on the table.

     Representing Putnam’s American Legion Post #13, George and his family were joined by Post Commander Michael Vassar and Christopher Steinbrick. The regiment presented him with a proclamation for his 75 years of continuous membership in their organization. As the official document states, it is: “Issued in grateful appreciation for faithful and dedicated allegiance to the ideals of The America Legion.” The American Legion representatives also presented George with a hand-knit blanket made just for him. In their comments, the American Legion members were sure to thank George for his service to our country as a soldier, and for his membership in their dispatch for over eight decades.

     Additionally, George Olson received an official Centenary Citation from the Connecticut State Legislature; the Citation was introduced to the Connecticut General Assembly and presented to George by Connecticut State Senator Mae Flexer. This framed document declared: “Be it hereby known to all that: The Connecticut Senate offers its sincerest congratulations to George Olson in recognition of his 100th birthday celebration on June 26, 2022. The entire membership extends its best wishes on this memorable occasion and expresses the hope for continued success.”

     During this joyous afternoon George Olson was well-celebrated and lauded in spoken and written terms. Prior to this birthday celebration, George’s great-nephew William penned this history of his beloved elder:

     George was born and raised in Southbridge, MA, where his family lived on Dresser Hill Road. Most of their year, the family commuted to school and work via horse and buggy and wintered within the town. George was educated in Catholic schools, where he gained the approval of all the Sisters.

     Following his education, one of George’s first jobs was delightfully delivering blocks of ice to the residents of Southbridge, MA. When duty called during World War II, George served in the Coast Guard and later became a long-time member of the American Legion. After his service years, and like so many residents of Southbridge, George worked at American Optical and learned the craft of machining. He went on to spend another chapter of his life working at Pratt & Whitney. George worked as a machinist instructor before becoming a corporate flight attendant, accompanying the CEO at the time on his many travels around the world.

     For extracurricular activities, signing and ballroom dancing were two of his favorite lifelong hobbies. When he retired from his machining career, George and his wife Jeanette settled in Putnam, CT and enjoyed a quiet life of landscaping, tinkering, and sharing his stories and life lessons with the younger generation. Maintaining his strong work ethic, George worked part time at a local self-storage facility to round out his retirement time. When the computer age came, George did not shrink from the challenge and actively engaged in using computers and email.

     Today, George is turning 100! We celebrate his life’s journey, all the way from the horse and buggy era to the age of the internet. He has seen so many changes and faced so many challenges over the past 100 years. We greatly admire his fortitude—they don’t make them like this anymore!

     Westview Health Care Center Administrator David T. Panteleakos is delighted to see another resident at Westview reaching this milestone of longevity. “We are so proud to have George Olson join the Centenarian Club here at Westview! It is especially wonderful to see George’s birthday being celebrated by our local American Legion, our State Legislature, and by four generations of his family.” Mr. Panteleakos continued: “It is amazing to think of the memories he has collected in his lifetime, and it is so special that he is able to share those stories with multiple generations of his family. Happy Birthday to George!

Westview Health Care Center is a 103-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, which includes a distinct and self-contained 28-bed sub-acute short term rehabilitation unit and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapies including: Sports Medicine, Adolescent/Pediatric, Adult, and Aquatic Outpatient Centers, all dedicated to providing outstanding quality health care services. The Dayville, Connecticut facility is consistently ranked among the top nursing facilities in the nation, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as well as U.S. News and World Report, consecutively for the past 14 years.

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