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Shelby firefighter feted on 100th birthday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
SHELBY – Firefighter Mark Watts congratulates Eddie Southcott for making a big difference in the community. Southcott was treated to a big party on his 100th birthday today at the Shelby Fire Hall.

Southcott is a World War II veteran and a long-time leader for the fire company. He was led to the fire hall in an antique car. He is currently staying at The Willows, an assisted care residential facility.

Southcott is all smiles after arriving for his surprise party.

Bob Bracey provides a steady arm for Southcott. Many community members turned out for the party today. Bracey is one of Southcott’s neighbors and also serves as a firefighter.

Ron Lasal grew up next to Southcott on South Gravel Road. Lasal made a point of stopping by and congratulating Southcott today.

“He was like a second father to me,” Lasal said. “He was great. I was over there all the time.”

Southcott is pictured in this photo when he served in World War II.

State Assembly members Steve Hawley and Jane Corwin were at the party and presented proclamations from the state, congratulating Southcott for his milestone birthday and his years of community service.

“Anytime you can recognize a veteran it is special,” Hawley said. “It’s a testament to the Greatest Generation. There are not a lot of veterans left from that time.”

The Shelby Town Board presented a proclamation to Southcott and declared it “Eddie Southcott Day.”

“It gives you an opportunity to honor a lifetime resident and a person who has contributed to others his whole life,” said Skip Draper, the Shelby town supervisor.

Southcott is a special person to Shelby firefighters. Many stop by The Willows to see him and take him out to dinner.

“It’s good to honor somebody, especially someone like Eddie,” said Sidney Watts, a past president for the fire company. “None of our members have even come close to 100 years.”