Family and American Legion Post #479 from Swanton celebrated World War II veteran Marion E. Lehman with a birthday drive-by to mark his 100th birthday at his home in Swanton on Saturday, March 27.
Lehman and his family sat outside his home, waving at a parade of family, friends, and community members driving by and giving well wishes. Speaking to reporters after the event, Lehman joked that he did not think he had that many friends left.
His son Allan, who helped organize the birthday celebration, said Marion was “beaming” with how well it turned out.
He said the day would not have been possible without the help of American Legion Post #479 of Swanton. Allan asked them if they could do something and they took the ball and ran with it and came up with this celebration.
The high point was when the Swanton Neil Toeppe, presented Marion with a proclamation from village.
Marion was born in Swanton in a house on Independence Street (now Lincoln Avenue) on March 27 1921. Seaman 1st Class Lehman served in the United States Coast Guard from Oct. 7, 1943 to Feb. 22, 1946, on the USS Lorain.
After the war, Marion returned home, began farming as well as working for Willys-Overland (Jeep), married Evelyn Clifton and started a family. They enjoyed 74 years of happiness. They have three children, 9 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Looking back on his last 100 years he related that he has been through a world war, the Great Depression, seen man on the moon and the development of the transistor and the family has been wonderful.
After the drive-by he enjoyed some cake and ice cream with his immediate family.