December 21, 2009

USA: 1 centenarian brother to another - Happy birthday

. CHICAGO, Illinois / Chicago Tribune / December 21, 2009 Charles, 101, made trek from California to mark George's 100th By Jack McCarthy, Special to the Tribune Travel to Chicago becomes problematic when you're more than a century old and live 2,000 miles away. But there was no way 101-year-old Charles Keller would have missed Saturday's west suburban bash for little brother George, who was turning 100. Arranged by his daughter Lynn, George Keller's birthday party at St. Charles' Pheasant Run Resort drew more than 80 friends and relatives from around the nation, including brother Charles, who trekked from Southern California. "I'm happy I reached it, and I'd really like to make 200," said George, decked out in a gray pinstriped suit, blue shirt and gray striped tie. "I think it's going to become a pretty regular thing for people. Here's two (centenarians) in the same family." Saturday marked the first time the Kellers had seen each other since Charles' 100th birthday fete in San Diego in May 2007. "I think a lot of (the longevity) has to do with genetics, inheritance," said Charles, who along with his brother had lengthy careers with the RR Donnelley printing firm. "My grandmother and my mother's folks lived long. But (it's) also tolerance for all human beings. There are 7 1/2 billion human beings approximately in the world, and I want them all to be my friends." Age has taken some toll. Both men have difficulty hearing. George is confined to a wheelchair after breaking his hip and pelvis several weeks ago and has a pacemaker to help regulate his heartbeat. Otherwise, they remain remarkably healthy and mentally sharp. Asked what George gave him for his 100th birthday, Charles replied: "He gave me $1,000." And what was going to be Charles' gift to his younger sibling? "His best wishes," said George, quickly chiming in before his brother could reply. [rc] Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune