By  Kathy L. Collins

A centenarian is a person who is 100 or more years old. Think about it. That means they were born in or close to 1913 when a first class postage stamp was two cents and a gallon of gas was 15 cents.

For a community to have one centenarian would be incredible. At Hawthorne Village of Brandon, they celebrated this milestone recently for not one person, not two people, but for three residents: Carl Gladfelter, Clara Dumke and Theresa Donato.

Each month, Hawthorne Village of Brandon hosts a themed restaurant night for families and their loved ones to enjoy great food, fun and fellowship. On Thursday, February 21, the birthdays of the centenarians were celebrated with a Mardi Gras theme.

Carl Gladfelter will be 101 years old in March. Gladfelter hails from Detroit, Michigan where he was a professor of marketing for many years. Upon retirement in 1975, he and his wife moved to Florida. When Gladfelter’s wife passed away, he lived with his daughter. He came to Hawthorne Village of Brandon three and a half years ago.

On reaching the milestone of turning 101 years old, Gladfelter said, “I think I have God’s blessing.”

Clara Dumke is originally from Nebraska. Prior to becoming a resident of Hawthorne Village of Brandon, Dumke lived on a farm with her husband. Dumke has been a resident for four years.

Theresa Donato is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Donato has been a resident of Hawthorne Village of Brandon since 2012. Prior to that, she lived with her son. Donato said of the celebration, “It’s wonderful. It was a big surprise.” Donato added, “They do a lot for us here. It’s a pleasure to be here.”

Jananne Weaver is the Life Enrichment Director at Hawthorne Village of Brandon. She is the person who energetically organizes such events for the residents. Weaver said, “At Hawthorne Village of Brandon we are community focused and dedicated to our residents, families and staff.”

For more information, please visit or call 661-8998.


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