Aurora -- Jerry Frankel celebrated his 101st birthday on Feb. 15. He has been living at Independence Village of Aurora for the past 3 1/2 years.
Independence Village's activity director Allison Tucker planned a celebration for Frankel's birthday. "We had a big party with food, cake and music," said Tucker. "He visited with his friends, and his sons took him out to dinner that night."
Frankel was born in 1912 in Cleveland, where he also grew up. He graduated from Glennville High School in 1930 an the University of Montana in 1935 with a degree in botany.
"I was happily married to my wife Beatrice for 72 years," said Frankel. "After she passed away a few years ago, my son decided I should move to Aurora to stay at Independence Village."
Frankel has two sons. Charles lives in Aurora and Richard lives in Nashville, Tenn. Before retirement, Frankel worked for the Franco Brothers insurance agency for almost 60 years.
"The agency was founded by my father and uncle," said Frankel. "I began working there right after I graduated from college in the middle of the Great Depression. I was fortunate enough not to have to join the military."
Frankel said he had three goals in life.
"I wanted to go to Hawaii, Alaska and the Panama Canal while it was still owned by us," said Frankel. "I visited Hawaii a year after it became a state to celebrate my 50th birthday. I also was able to make it to Alaska and the Panama Canal." Frankel spent a lot of time traveling with his wife and has been to at least 45 of the 50 states.
"In 1930, my brother and I visited most of the western United States," said Frankel. "The trip took 70 days. We saw Yellowstone, Yosemite and Glacier Park."
"Jerry is a very sharp man and enjoys playing chair volleyball, exercising, music and listening to books on tape," said Tucker. "He has a fun personality and is such a great inspiration for all of our residents."
Frankel has many grandchildren and great-grandchildren scattered across the country, plus two great-great grandchildren.
"I never gave much thought to turning 101," said Frankel. "I'm fortunate to have a comfortable facility like this. I've had a fulfilling life. I've seen it, I've done it, and I've enjoyed it."
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4163