Milan proclaims Otto Duschl day
No trick! He turns 100 today
Otto Duschl becomes a centenarian today.
“When you strive to live up to standards, not above what you could afford, you have accomplished what you were put here for,” Otto Duschl, 100 years old.
The Milan Town Council has proclaimed today, Oct. 31, to be Otto A. Duschl day in honor of his 100 years and dedication as a medic in the air corp. “I am who I am. That’s all I ever wanted to be,” he stated rather simply at his residence in Ripley Crossing in Milan
The council agreed earlier this week to make the special Otto Duschl proclamation.
The oldest of six, Otto has outlived all but one of his siblings (a sister is 98), and his wife Marjorie. She died of cancer at age 57, and he still tears up thinking of her. They would have celebrated 65 years of marriage today had she lived. After her death, he relocated to Ripley County in 1980.
Otto is not sure why he’s been graced with 100 years, but perhaps it was his honesty, hard work, and conservative Christian and family values. He had no vices, other than he confessed he did smoke a cigar for a short time. “Hard work and honesty…That is the main thing,” he said.
The centenarian’s mind is quite clear, “I got a memory like an elephant,” he says, but his body isn’t as strong. His legs are weak and keep him dependent on a wheelchair. In August, he took a turn for the worse, and ended up in the hospital for five days and was released to long-term care at Ripley Crossing. “It was touch and go,” his only child Jana Denninger says, “but he rallied due to his strong will to live.” Otto was driving up to three years ago, she said. Jana moved to the area to be near her father. “As long as she’s here I want to live!” he said, getting emotional when he speaks of his daughter.
Otto is one of a dwindling number of WWII veterans in Ripley County. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that in 2011, 670 American World War II veterans died every day. The median age for a World War II veteran in June 2011 was 92 years.
He is a lifetime VFW member and proudly wears his WWII cap. He remembers his days serving as a medic with the air corp during World War II. He was 26 years old when he volunteered the day after Pearl Harbor was struck, and served at the European theatre for almost five years, he said, until the war was over.
He returned home to Jonesboro, Illinois, bought nine acres, married and started a business as a plumber/contractor. “I’d say the best teacher is experience. I found that out.” He has always liked engines and tinkering to make things work. Proof of that, he’s surrounded in his room by a dozen clocks he either made or repaired. When he lived at the Versailles Colonial Manor, he said he had 44 timepieces. “I give one away every year to a very outstanding student,” he said.
Duschl loves people and loves life, as his daughter says.
Otto’s faith is another big part of him. He is a long-time member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Aurora . His ancestors actually come from Austria, where one served for the Austrian emperor.
On his birthday, he plans to celebrate with the staff, residents and his beloved daughter. Happy 100th birthday Otto
Top state officials coming to Southeastern Career Center
The Southeastern Career Center will host two state officials in November. Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann will tour the facility on Monday, Nov. 4. SCC is trying to seek resources to expand the facilities and it was suggested by State Rep. Randy Frye to invite state lawmakers and officials to visit SCC to better understand their mission and future needs. Frye toured the facility last month, and invited state officials to do so. The Lt. Governor’s office immediately responded. All superintendents were extended an invitation for the 12:30 luncheon and tour.
According to the submitted unofficial minutes, on Nov. 11, the Indiana Superintendent of Education Glenda Ritz will attend a board meeting. The meetings begin at 9:30 a.m.
In other business, the first draft of the career center’s calendar for 2014-15 was presented to the board at their regular meeting Oct. 9. Discussion was informational and no action taken yet. School started this year on Aug 1, and if all goes well with snow days, should end June 2. They will wait to get a sampling of the other 12 school calendars to draft a calendar proposal.
Brad Street, SCC superintendent, reported to the board that the Building Trades 1 class finished the roofing project at South Dearborn. He said it was a great experience and a financial savings for South Dearborn.
Another agenda item addressed at the meeting were teacher contracts. The contracts were unanimously approved.