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Happy 111th birthday, Mr. Sanchez

by jmaloni
Thu, Jun 13th 2013 04:20 pm

REPUBLISHED FROM THE JUNE 7 GRAND ISLAND DISPATCH

Grand Island is home to one of America's oldest men, and he's celebrating another birthday Saturday.

Salustiano Sanchez, who lives in ElderWood Health Care at Riverwood on Grand Island Boulevard, will turn 111 years old on Saturday.

Sanchez, nicknamed "Shorty," was born June 8, 1902, in Salamanca, Spain, the son of Baldomera Blasquez and Serafin Sanchez. He was from the town of El Tejada and attended school up until the age of 10.

He left his native Spain at the age of 17 and worked in Cuba before coming to America to work as a miner.

He had a sister Nicholasa and a brother Pedro. He met his wife Pearl Emilie Chiaresa Sanchez at the funeral of a mutual acquaintance in Pennsylvania. Their favorite times were spent picnicking in Niagara Falls, talking walks, and riding the Maid of the Mist.

They raised children John and Irene Sanchez Johnson. Today his family includes seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

He never owned a car, but walked everywhere.

There won't be a wild celebration at Riverwood to mark the occasion, as per Shorty's wishes, but as Melissa McCraith, director of activities at Riverwood explained, when you're 111 years old, you've earned the right to do whatever you want.

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