By: Jen Russon
A vested member of the Coral Springs community was honored by city officials at his 100th birthday party on Monday.
Abe Friedman, born June 21, 1921, doesn’t look a day over 80. Yet, he still drives, hears just fine, and told guests between bites of cake that volunteerism is the key to longevity.
“If I can do anything to help or benefit other people, that’s the purpose of life,” said Abe. “I never thought about my age that much, so, no, I’m not surprised to see this day.”
The centurion added how much he enjoys volunteering at Park Summit’s country store, where his fellow residents come for creature comforts.
“I work there once a week to help the residents who can’t go shopping,” he said, mentioning the tissues, over-the-counter medications, and other needful things.
“The sandwiches are delicious there,” he said, indicating with his hand how thick they were.
Abe uses a walker but abandoned it in a corner when it was time to walk over and cut the cake.
Campbell Epes, Executive Director at Park Summit, confirmed several residents at his facility as old or even older than Abe, but they tend to eschew big parties.
When Abe said he was overwhelmed by all the pomp and circumstance, Epes told him to relax.
“Get over here and cut this cake. You deserve it,” he said.
Helping shape policies for other seniors is something Abe’s late wife, Sylvia, liked to do as well. She passed away at Park Summit years ago but was fondly remembered at the party.
“I don’t think anyone can forget all those tiny sweaters Sylvia made for teddy bears,” said Commissioner Joy Carter.
Mayor Scott Brook and Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons joined Commissioners Carter and Nancy Matayer in thanking Friedman for being so active in the community.
When he isn’t helping out at the senior living community, Abe — a grandfather and great grandfather to four — actively attends the Coral Springs Senior Advisory Group and is known for perfect attendance at the city commission meetings.
After Mayor Brook presented Friedman with a recognition award, the Coral Springs Police and Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Departments thanked him with a Challenger coin, granted to the most important members of the city.
Lois Tannenbaum, Friedman’s 70-year-old daughter, said she and her husband Henry had traveled all the way from Las Vegas to attend the birthday party.
“Once you reach a certain age, you lose the connections you once had, but we’re still waiting for it to catch up with my Dad. He’s looking forward to dinner tonight at the Bonefish Grill,” she said.
Lois added since April, she started working on getting a card from the White House to mark her father’s 100th birthday.
“It came this week, and it’s up in Dad’s room. I can’t wait to get a look at it.”
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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