Community celebrates WWII veteran’s 100th birthday with parade

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LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) — Well-wishers took part in a parade Friday afternoon in front of Michael Pavelschak’s Lorain home on the day he turned 100 years old.

The new centenarian, known to everyone as Mike, has been married to his wife Gerrie for 61 years.

“He’s a good man, a wonderful husband,” Gerrie Pavelschak told FOX 8.

Born on March 5, 1921 in Lorain, Mike Pavelschak served in the U.S. Army during World War II and grieved over the loss of his older brother John, who was killed in action in the Philippines.

When Mike came home from the war, he worked at U.S. Steel in Lorain for 42 years.

“Many people did not come home from that war. He did. Then he came to work and he worked long, hard hours,” said his grandson, Doug Pavelschak.

Mike and Gerrie Pavelschak have five children, nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Along the way, they created a lifetime of memories.

When asked what their secret to a long life has been, Gerrie Pavelschak responded, “Gee, I don’t know what to tell you, just a good life together. That’s what we had, a good life.”

Friday, their loved ones celebrated the couple’s good life with a parade to mark Mike Pavelschak’s 100th trip around the sun.

“I think everybody besides my grandpa is excited about it. I think it’s a big deal to him, but I think it’s more of a big deal to us, the family and friends to celebrate today more than it is to him,” said Doug Pavelschak. “And that just shows the kind of person and man that he is, it’s just a day to him but it’s not to us.”

Among the tributes to Mike Pavelschak on his birthday is a personalized case of jelly from Smucker’s wishing Mike a happy 100th. We are told the jars had Mike’s photo on the label and brought a smile to his face.

We are also told that even though Mike Pavelschak is a quiet, humble man, he thoroughly enjoyed the parade in his honor.

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