by Ginny Cook
Special to The R-C

Back to: Opinion
September 3, 2014
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Couple celebrates 100th birthdays

After enjoying 73 years of birthdays together, Don and Jane Thaw of Stateline and Corvallis, Ore., recently celebrated their 100th birthdays at a celebration on Aug. 9 at the Round Hill Pines Beach Resort in beautiful Lake Tahoe, a beach they have enjoyed going to for over 30 years.

Attending the celebration given by their daughter and son-in-law, Ginny and Bob Cook, of Stateline, and son and daughter-in-law, John and Daryl Thaw of Corvallis, were approximately 90 guests, aged 88 years old to 3 days old, including family and friends from Reno, Carson Valley, Lake Tahoe, Arizona, Northern and Southern California, Oregon and Washington.

It was “Birthday Month” for the two, and the celebrations continued. A week after the big party, Don and Jane celebrated their birthdays with a wonderful Mimosa breakfast at the Lakeside Inn, Don’s favorite place for Sunday breakfasts. The next day, Jane’s actual birthday, they celebrated with a fabulous dinner at the Sage Room at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe where word must have gotten out, as patrons interrupted their own dinners to sing happy birthday to both centenarians, along with Sage Room employees. Many also stopped by the table to wish them both a happy birthday and all applauded as they left the restaurant.

Don, born Aug. 2, 1914, in Folsom, Calif., grew up in California and later moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, with his mother in 1935 when he was 21 years old. Jane was born Aug. 18, 1914, in Portland, Ore., and moved to Honolulu with her mother in 1923 when she was 9 years old. After graduating from Punahou in Honolulu in 1933, Jane attended Pacific Northwest Dental College in Portland, Ore., for a career as a dental hygienist. It was on a return to Honolulu during a school break from college that she first met Don on a blind date to play Monopoly. Years later, after graduating and becoming a dental hygienist, and after Don moved back to California to work for Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, they were married on July 28, 1941, in North Hollywood, Calif. Within a few months they moved back to Honolulu where Don got a job as an airplane mechanic with the Hawaiian Air Depot at Hickam Field. They were living on base at Hickam Field, and received 14 bullet holes in their military housing when the Japanese attacked Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows fields and Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Don received a commendation for Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his actions on Hickam Field during the attack. They remained in Honolulu, where both their children were born, until 1949 when they returned to the mainland and settled in Burbank, Calif. Don resumed working for Lockheed and Jane worked as a dental hygienist in Glendale, Calif. In 1979, after retiring, Don and Jane bought a house in Stateline to be closer to their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren Robbie and Kristi, during visits from Burbank. In 2003, they sold their house in Burbank and bought a house in Corvallis, Ore., to be closer to their son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter Chelsea. Now, splitting their living arrangements between Nevada and Oregon, they especially enjoy spending time with their grandchildren in both states and their six great-grandchildren (three sets of twins) in Northern Nevada; Makena, Rylee, Kaila, Brinli, Cameron and Kayla.

Don and Jane continue to enjoy life in Lake Tahoe with Ginny and Bob, where they are Douglas County Seniors and members of the Young at Heart Senior Citizens Club. Before winter sets in, Don and Jane will return to Oregon to enjoy life in Corvallis with John and Daryl. Life is but a dream.

Ginny Cook wrote this in honor of her parents’ birthday.


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The Record Courier Updated Sep 3, 2014 08:41AM Published Sep 3, 2014 08:41AM Copyright 2014 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.