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Local man celebrates 101 years

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Posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 6:49 am

It’s been more than 65 years, but Wayne Greiner still remembers the first dance he had with his wife, Ruby — the foxtrot.

It was just one of many great memories Greiner said he has had, and there have been a lot of them. The Ahwatukee Foothills resident turned 101 on Tuesday. A month before that, on June 19, Wayne and Ruby celebrated 65 years of marriage.

“We used to dance a lot back then,” Wayne said. “I had just gotten out of the service and went into the restaurant where she was working and I went up and started talking to her.”

During World War II, Wayne was in the Air Force band where he played saxophone and clarinet. After he got out, and swept Ruby off her feet, he went to work at the U.S. Post Office as a window clerk until he retired in 1961.

They lived in California up until six years ago when his daughter, Nina Cutrone, moved them out to Ahwatukee Foothills to be closer to their family. They hosted a birthday party for Wayne on Tuesday at Desert Garden Assisted Living. Cutrone said her father had a special request.

“He said he wanted nothing more than a T-bone steak on his birthday,” Cutrone said. “That’s the way he is.”

She said he is known around the area as being the one to have a smile on his face, and Cutrone said it’s probably for a specific reason.

“He’s very proud of the fact that he still has all of his original teeth,” she said. “He’s always smiling.”

Wayne said there were a couple of reasons why he made it to 100 years old, and now 101. When asked if he ever expected to get to triple digits, he responded, “no way.”

“Just good living,” he said about how he reached 101. “And believing in God.”

As to how he spends his days now, it’s mostly television and bingo, Wayne said, but after the long life he has had, he deserves some rest and relaxation.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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