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105 years young: Carl Hentschel


August 21, 2012

Covering Carl Hentschel’s 100th birthday celebration five years ago was a special treat for this reporter, but seeing Hentschel still going strong at the age of 105 was truly icing on the cake.

A crowd of family, friends, veterans and dignitaries turned out at the Lumberland Senior Center in Glen Spey on August 15 to celebrate with Hentschel. Awards and recognitions were presented by various officials, including Town of Lumberland supervisor Nadia Rajsz and Town of Highland supervisor Andrew Boyar.

Rajsz read a proclamation celebrating Hentschel’s life and noted, “It’s not every town that can boast having a resident who’s 105. It must be our clean air and water and quality of life.” Boyar presented Hentschel with a certificate of recognition signed by the Highland town board.

Sullivan County Legislator Kathy LaBuda and Linda Cellini, representing Senator Bonacic’s office, also spoke. During his 100th birthday celebration, Hentschel revealed the secret of his longevity to be “good whiskey and wild women,” while joking with LaBuda, “I thought we had a date later.” Living proof that the formula works, Hentschel again traded quips with LaBuda, who read several letters and joked, “Carl, are you paying attention?”

Born on August 16, 1907, in Breslau, Germany, Hentschel immigrated into the United States in 1923. He and his wife, Marily, were married for 54 years at the time of her death. Hentschel served the United States as a flight simulator instructor from 1942-45 and later served in the U.S. Army’s Intelligence Corps.

John Crotty, Director of Veterans Services, and Debbie Allen, director of the Sullivan County Office of the Aging, also attended. “WWII veterans achieved extraordinary things in a world conflict that went from pole to pole around the world,” Crotty noted. “Thank you for choosing to be an American and for your years of service.”

Peter Carmeci Sr., Commander of Tusten, Highland, Lumberland Post 6427 VFW, also thanked Hentschel for his service to the nation and was joined by fellow veterans in a respectful salute.

With one hearty puff, Hentschel extinguished the candles glowing on his birthday cake, thanked everyone for coming and offered this sage advice from his mother: “Never do anything to anyone that you wouldn’t want done to yourself.” Hentschel said he is looking forward to seeing everyone again on his 110th birthday.