BY CHRISTINE LEE
A borough man celebrated his 100th birthday surrounded by family members Sunday afternoon.
Joseph L. Gravish turned the milestone year Thursday but was joined by 18 relatives at his home on East Carroll Street for a celebration that included a large cake reading, “Happy 100th Birthday Pop.”
Before cutting the cake, family members presented him with a black baseball cap with the words, “100 Never Looked So Good” printed on the front.
The relatives present included children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and spouses that came from Seattle, Washington, St. Louis, Missouri, New York, Texas, Philadelphia and Allentown to celebrate. A string of birthday cards hung in his window.
“It doesn’t feel any different,” Gravish said of turning 100. “To have so many family members here is good.”
His daughter, Frances Sonne, who came from Catasauqua for the party, said longevity runs in the family. One of his cousins is 102, while two sisters each made it into their 90s, she said.
“There came a point in time when I realized he was going to be 100,” Sonne said.
Born March 12, 1920, in Wadesville, Gravish served in the Army Air Corps during World War II from 1943 to 1945, marrying his late wife, Isabel Gravish, in 1943. She passed away in 2012.
During the war, he served in the European theater, going into Omaha Beach on D9, operating radios and was a gunner.
About 30 family members and friends attended a birthday dinner for Gravish on Thursday at The Gallery Restaurant, Mill Creek Avenue, Pottsville.
Gravish has three children, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
As family members applauded, he cut a large piece for himself and ate it as they looked on.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-628-6028