MEDINA — Morris Mersing celebrated his first century of life Wednesday as Medina celebrates its second century this year.
The World War II veteran and longtime Medina resident celebrated his 100th birthday at Elmcroft Senior Living of Medina with a proclamation from Mayor Dennis Hanwell.
“He is just energetic, funny … he’s a go-getter,” said Marly Heager, village leader at Elmcroft.
Mersing was born Sept. 12, 1918, and moved to Medina with his family when he was 1. When World War II began, Mersing became a supply sergeant in the 353rd Engineering Regiment and served in the Philippine Islands.
As fellow Elmcroft residents and staff members filed into the dining room Wednesday for the celebration, Hanwell introduced himself to Mersing and got ready to read his proclamation, which included a nod to Mersing’s philosophy to “do your best and always be a positive influence on those who are younger than you.”
Bonnie Norris, who works with Mersing on a daily basis, said that “he is a wonderful man, very easygoing. He cares about people tremendously.”
Sherry Blaine, Mersing’s daughter, and his grandson, Gary Blaine, made it out to Elmcroft to help celebrate his birthday.
His daughter said that she was born while he was in the Army and was 2 years old when he got out. She said that when he got home from the war, “he just put the pedal to the metal and started working right away to support the family.”
After the war, Mersing worked at Medina Auto Parts as a parts manager, his daughter said.
While guests had chocolate cake, Mersing was asked to reflect on how it feels to reach 100.
“Well, I’ll tell ya, it took a long time to do this,” he said.
As the room erupted in laughter, he added, “It’s a real treat for you all to recognize me this way.”