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Douglas Stuart is pictured with his son, Lakewood Ranch resident Drew Stuart, and daughter, Dona Kerezsi, of Florida, enjoyed the celebration. Courtesy photo.
East County Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 10 months ago

Bagpipes ring in 100th birthday

Sheridan celebrates first centenarian
by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

With 99 birthdays before this special one, it wasn’t going to be easy to find a proper birthday present for Douglas Stuart’s No. 100.

His son, Drew, had an idea.

On Dec. 22, Douglas Stuart, a resident of The Sheridan at Lakewood Ranch, reached the centennial milestone with the sound of a bagpipe to ring in the occasion.

Drew Stuart, who is 70, brought in a bagpiper specifically for a pre-lunch performance at the senior living facility, which opened in September. Douglas Stuart is the facility’s first centenarian.

“He always had a fondness of bagpipes,” Drew said, adding his father would take him and his siblings to hear bagpipes often while they were growing up.

Gary Reinstrom, artistic director of First Brass of Sarasota, performed for Stuart at the Sheridan. He plays bagpipes at Stuart’s church, First Presbyterian of Sarasota, about four times a year, so he became the natural first pick for his birthday celebration.

Douglas Stuart was born Dec. 22, 1916, to Frederick and Helen Stuart in Staten Island, N.Y. He served more than four years in the U.S. Army during World War II, during which he earned a Silver Star for gallantry in action in North Africa and again in Europe after spending seven months as a prisoner of war. He was captured during the Battle of the Bulge.

After completing his military service, he followed his father into a career in banking. He was married 51 years to his first girlfriend, Elsie Evelyn Sandberg, and the couple had five children, nine grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

Douglas Stuart’s two children residing in Florida, Dana and Drew, and their families, attended the birthday celebration.

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