Gordon Chandler celebrates 100 years
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Gordon Chandler can't think of anything he likes better to do on his 100th birthday than to play cards.
His birth certificate may say that he turned 100 years old on Feb. 4, but Gordon Chandler says he still feels like a boy.
He attributes his longevity to "I just keep on moving," he says.
Chandler was born in Bethlehem. His family moved to Schnecksville and then Slatington, where he has lived most of his life.
He remembers picking potatoes and corn as a boy. He quit school after his freshman year in high school to help his mother by getting a job at the paint mill when he was 15. He later began working at Bethlehem Steel, where he retired after working there for over 40 years.
"I never missed a day of school or work. Never sick a day in my life," he says proudly.
He and his first wife, Grace, had three children: Terry, who resides in Myrtle Beach, N.C., and Karen Arner and Kathy Sander, both of Bowmanstown. He and his second wife, Celestine were married 40 years until she passed away. He has a stepdaughter, Sara Jane Krex of Slatington, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
The accomplishment that he is proudest of was when he was a young man, he hitchhiked all the way to California and back.
"I really wanted to see California," he says as his reason for doing it.
A friend was supposed to accompany him, but turned back for home when they reached Pittsburgh.
He enjoyed bowling, golfing and was quite the pool player and poker player at Fat Krasue's Pool Room, which he ran for his friend for five months while he was hospitalized.
Chandler liked to travel and visited Hawaii and Alaska.
Currently he resides at The Village in Palmerton where he enjoys playing pinocle and rummy and Wii bowling.
A family dinner and party was held for him at the home of his daughter, Kathy Sander.
His son, Terry, and daughter, Karen, attended, as well as spouses, grandchildren and grandchildren.