Mansfield Primrose Centenarian Reflects on Life

By | February 5, 2016
Earl and Evy Calhoun celebrating Earl’s birthday in style

Earl and Evy Calhoun celebrating Earl’s birthday in style

Mansfield, OH, Retirement Communities

Earl Calhoun’s wife, Evy, figures he’ll be around at least 10 more years. He’s already 100, and Evy Calhoun is basing her theory on her two previous marriages. Both of her husbands passed away after 26 years of matrimony. She and Earl have been together for 16 years, and they live at Primrose Retirement Communities in Mansfield, OH.

Earl recently celebrated his 100th birthday. He has survived a stroke, heart surgery, and a nasty fall to make it to the century mark.

“Why would I complain? I’ve stayed around for 100 years,” he said.

A Pennsylvania native, Earl lived in Lancaster, OH, for more than 60 years before moving to Mansfield last year to be closer to his son, Jerry. As recently as 2013, when Earl was 97, he was playing golf once a week.

Earl’s 100th birthday proved to be a special occasion. Close friends and family from five states helped him celebrate with a formal dinner at Chinatown Restaurant. After dinner, Dick Taylor drove Earl and Evy back to Primrose in his restored 1928 Model A Ford, a car just like the one Earl once owned.

“That was a complete surprise,” Evy said. “To walk out and see that car; his eyes got big,” she added.

Earl married first wife, Jean Laughlin, in 1940 when he was 24. He spent most of his career working at Sears, which was how he wound up in Ohio. He was transferred to Lancaster in 1950. He ended up spending more than 40 years with Sears, earning a promotion to manager, before retiring in 1980.

Before that, Earl served in the Army during World War II. He was stationed in the Philippines, and worked with the teletype machine as part of communications group.

“The Philippines was all right, but I got yellow jaundice,” he said.

Earl and Evy knew each other when their respective families wintered in Arizona.

“We were both alone,“ Evy said. “It came so easy. It was magic like,” she added. Evy describes her third husband as a thoughtful, kind man with a wonderful disposition.

Earl had two sons, Jerry and Jeff, with his first wife.

“You can’t do any more than set a great example. That’s what dad’s always done for us,“ Jerry said. “He works hard. He’s honest. That’s the way he raised us.”

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