Wisconsin veteran who served in World War II celebrates 100th birthday

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Festival Foods off University Ave. hosts special birthday celebration

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Every Friday, a group of veterans gather at Festival Foods off University Avenue.

But today’s gathering was a little more special than most.

“I didn’t know they were going to have all of this, the singing,” says Don Schimmels. “Everything except the dancing girls.”

Don Schimmels, a World War II vet and Wisconsin native, thought he was in for another regular Friday- gathering with his fellow group of veterans for some morning coffee and donuts. But what was in store would be anything but regular. That’s because this week, he’s celebrating his 100th birthday.

“My folks didn’t get this old and I don’t understand my being here, good luck or God’s blessing or something like that,” said Schimmels. “It must be one of the two.”

Either way, knowing that a pretty special date was on the horizon Don’s friends wanted to make this Friday one to remember.

“It really was the vets,” says Rick Teegarden, Store Director of Festival Foods in Green Bay. “They knew Don’s birthday was coming and they wanted to make it special, they just really spearheaded it and asked us to get involved. We were more than ready to bring this party to life.”

It may not have been dancing, but there was plenty of singing and cake. And as good as Don looks for his age, his secret to living so long is always in demand.

“A lot of people ask me that and I tell them I eat a lot of blueberries and there’s a story about the garlic diet,” said Schimmels. “The garlic doesn’t do anything for you but you look thinner from a distance.

The festivities for Don won’t stop there. He will be the Grand Marshal for the Luxemberg parade this Sunday.

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