So many good years can roll by in a blink

By NOVA BEALL, Times Staff Writer
Published November 14, 2007


Larry and Evelyn Stenski of Dunedin celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on Sept. 30 at Pinehurst Village clubhouse with their four children, nine grandchildren and extended family. Some came from as far away as Maine, Vermont and Texas.

The couple married in Tazewell, Va., in 1937.

Mr. Stenski was unsure of the exact date.

"Oct. 1, I think," he said and turned to ask his wife, apologizing with sheepish humor, "It's been so long, I forgot!"

"It was a Saturday," Mrs. Stenski recalled.

"We didn't have a church wedding," Mr. Stenski said in his comfortable Virginia accent. "We got married in the Tazewell courthouse. Back then times was tough, and we didn't have the money."

But while the date of the wedding is hazy, Mr. Stenski's recollection of the couple's first meeting remains clear.

"The first time I saw Evelyn I knew she was for me," Mr. Stenski said. "A co-worker in the coal mines came down one day and picked her up to go fishing and I tagged along. While he was fishing, I was on the bank courting her."

On their first date the young couple traveled to Mr. Stenski's grandmother's house in Norton, Va., and took in a movie that evening.

"We saw Henry Fonda in the Trail of the Lonesome Pine," recalled Mr. Stenski. "If I remember right, it was only 25 cents. When I was a kid, movies cost a dime."

The couple came here in 1947 from Bluefield, W. Va.

Mr. Stenski was a salesman for U.S. Homes concrete division while Mrs. Stenski tended to their home and family.

The Stenskis are Methodists.

Since retiring, they have traveled extensively and have visited Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Lichtenstein.

Mr. Stenski still bowls twice a week.

"I'm pretty good at it," he said modestly. "Last summer, I rolled a 299 game and a 720 scratch. Not bad for an 88-year-old!" He also enjoys a once-a-week poker game with friends, and both he and Mrs. Stenski play bingo twice a week. They also enjoy card games.

When asked if he had any advice for newlyweds, Mr. Stenski said, "Well, I'll tell you, in the first place it's gotta be love, and you gotta be good to each other. That's for sure."

* * *

Clearwater resident Roy Anderson has perfected his signature bowling technique. He bowls twice a week, has a 128 average and was all smiles on Oct. 23 when he partied at Dunedin Lanes among family, friends and the After Lunch Bunch bowling team, of which he is a member. A week before that, his son surprised him with a dinner cruise that included many family members.

Not so unusual? Hold on, Mr. Anderson just celebrated his 100th birthday.

When he was born on Oct. 23, 1907, in the little farming town of Neosho, Mo., horses and buggies were the norm, and electric lights, telephones, radio and television had yet to come into vogue.

Mr. Anderson's mother was a homemaker and his father was a teacher, school principal and minister.

Longevity runs in the family. Mr. Anderson's brother and sister both lived into their 90s.

"He's my hero," said Mr. Anderson's friend, Bonnie Settle. "He got his first pair of reading glasses just last year. If I live to be 100 I hope to have half the good health he has."

Mr. Anderson attributes his longevity to having faith in the Lord and good genes from his Swedish and Welsh ancestors.

He was employed by an electric company, then worked as a surveyor for 25 years with the Army Corps of Engineers. He then owned a New Jersey company that conducted soil borings.

Longtime friend Bonnie Houk said Mr. Anderson always has a positive attitude and can tell a good joke.

Mr. Anderson writes poetry and has several pieces published online. He also knows a lot about computers. "All they can do is really amazing," he marveled.

He retired to Florida more than 20 years ago. He has been married three times and has two sons, and over two dozen great-grandchildren.

Despite a problem with his hip last year, Mr. Anderson says he's in no pain. "I bowled yesterday and I'm supposed to bowl on Friday," he said gamely. "I'll keep doing it as long as I can."

* * *

William and Wanda Beasley of Largo celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their summer cottage in Crossville, Tenn., with family and friends.

The Beasleys were married Sept. 1, 1957, at Leland United Methodist Church in Leland, Miss., and came here in 1962 from Burlington, N.C.

Mr. Beasley worked 35 years with Honeywell Aerospace where he was director of marketing.

Mrs. Beasley worked for First National Bank of Clearwater, now AmSouth Bank.

The couple enjoy golfing and traveling in their recreational vehicle.

They have a daughter, Sheryl Lee of California, a son, Neil Beasley of Dallas, employed by FOX Sports, and four grandchildren.

* * *

Bob and Norma Minott of Clearwater spent more time apart than they did together in their first two years of marriage. They were childhood sweethearts and still teenagers when they wed Oct. 23, 1947, in Aurora, Ill. Mr. Minott was home on a five-day leave from the Navy and departed afterward for an 18-month assignment.

Friends and neighbors gathered at the Imperial Cove Condominium clubhouse for the Minotts' 60th wedding anniversary celebration and their children have planned a dinner party in the Chicago area.

Both were employed by General Motors in La Grange, Ill. Mr. Minott was a technical catalog writer, and Mrs. Minott worked in the blueprint department. They moved here in 1988 after retiring.

The couple are members of St. Paul United Methodist Church, and are active in the Imperial Cove Social Club where Mr. Minott has served on the board of directors. He is also a member of Moose Lodge 7 in Clearwater.

The Minotts are fond of travel and are avid sports fans. Mr. Minott plays tennis and Mrs. Minott bowls.

They have four children, nine grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

* * *

Joseph M. and Doris Mae Borner of Clearwater were married Sept. 20, 1947, in Corpus Christi Catholic Church in St. Louis, Mo.

They celebrated 60 years together Sept. 15 with a hayride and weenie roast with friends and family. Even their matron of honor and best man made the trip here from St. Louis.

The Borners came here in September 1981 from St. Louis, where Mr, Borner worked for Be-Mac Transport as a truck driver. During World War II, he was a Marine corporal. He's a member of Teamsters Local 600 Retired Workers Chapter.

Mrs. Borner was a beautician who retired after the birth of her first child.

They are members of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Largo.

The Borners have five children, nine grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

* * *

Thomas A. and Linda K. Holliday were married March 6, 1957, in Lancaster, Ohio, and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at SideBern's restaurant in Tampa with their children.

Mr. Holliday served in the Marine Corps from 1955 to 1959 and was employed by the Frito-Lay Co.

Mrs. Holliday was a homemaker.

The couple are members of Anona United Methodist Church in Largo.

Mr. Holliday is an avid bowler, and Mrs. Holliday enjoys gardening.

They have four children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

To submit an item , write to Nova Beall, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Fax to 727 445-4119 or e-mail sbeall@sptimes.com Good For You includes news of 50th wedding anniversaries, people celebrating their 100th birthday (or more) and young people's noteworthy achievements academically, in the arts or community service. Call (727) 445-4221.