Mt. Vernon Register-News

October 24, 2013

Woodlawn man hits century mark

By ROBBIE EDWARDS
robbie.edwards@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — Pete Smalley celebrated a milestone by turning 100 on Oct. 17.

On Oct. 18, Smalley was with his family at his daughter Pat Yates' house in Woodlawn, which was filled with a cozy atmosphere and laughter.

At first, Smalley was a bit reserved about sharing his life but soon the stories and jokes started flowing and his personalty began to shine.

Some of the jokes he shared were family favorites.

One such joke was: "Which hand did you eat your breakfast with this morning, your right or left hand? You ate breakfast with your right, well I ate mine with my mouth."

Smalley truly believes that a good way to live your life is through laughter.

Smalley was born and raised northeast of Ashley and lived in Mt. Vernon for almost 30 years with his wife Margaret LaVerne. He was married to Margaret for 63 years until she passed away March 2003.

"Getting married is my most fondest memory," said Smalley.

Smalley and his wife had three children: Pat Yates, Mercedes Swambar, and Dolores. They were blessed with six grandchildren: Chet Tussey, Tressa Morgan, Chris Swambar, Debbie Dixon, Jeffery Brashear, and Kevin Brashear; and six great-grandchildren: Peter Tussey, Sammy Tussey, Joe Swamber, Gracie Swamber, Jarret Brashear and Aaron Brashear.

Smalley's first job was delivering milk by way of horse and wagon. He would collect the milk from local farmers and deliver it to Pevley Condenser.

Before retiring, Smalley worked for the Mt. Vernon Street Department for about 27 years.

Smalley lives on his own in Woodlawn on 40 acres.

Most days you can find him enjoying his hobbies like gardening, fishing, telling jokes, and taking walks with his dog Bootsie. He stays very active and walks every morning at least one quarter of a mile.

"I'm always looking for someone to outrun me. Not found anyone yet," Smalley said.

When Smalley was asked about a historical event he remembered, a family member reminded him of the Great Depression.

That then prompted him to reminisce on how his family had a farm where they raised crops and livestock.

This hard work paid off because it made surviving a little easier on them than the average family. He is the youngest of five siblings: Tony, Joe, Clara, Annie, and Mike.

Family and friends gathered for a birthday celebration in honor of Smalley in Radom earlier this month.