And that’s exactly what Clarence Ellett did Friday at Gaymont Nursing Center when he dug into his birthday cake.
One of his daughters, Susan Gest, and a son-in-law, Jamie Ebert, were at Gaymont to celebrate his birthday with him.
Ellett has two sons — Allen, of Sylvania, and Bob, of Columbus, and two daughters, Gest, of Grafton, and the late Janet Ebert, who died in 2002. He also has nine grandchildren, ranging in ages from 20 to 39, and a 3 1/2-year-old great-granddaughter, Jayna Crawford.
Ellett moved to Norwalk in 1945 with his wife Betty, who died in March 2008.
“He moved here after World War II,” Gest said.
Ellet served in the 101st Army Air Force Division, known as the Flying Tigers, for four years. He was in the photography tech unit.
He is nothing less than a world traveler with an impressive list of places he has visited: Europe, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Turkey, Istanbul and Egypt.
“You name it; he’s been there,” said Jamie Ebert, Ellett’s son-in-law.
“He’s been in all 50 states,” Gest added.
Ellett and his wife lived on Grove Avenue until 1954. Then the couple moved to Old State Road and stayed in their house until they sold it in 2000.
“He worked for the Farm Bureau when he was first in town,” Gest said.
Since November, Ellett has been a resident at Gaymont.
“He lived at the Carriage House for nine years before that,” his daughter said.
Ellett worked as a sanitarian for the Huron County health department. He was with the agency for 25 years, starting in 1977.
“He retired as the deputy health commissioner,” his daughter said.
“After that, he worked as the sexton of the Woodlawn Cemetery for 10 years. Then he retired again,” Gest added with a chuckle.
Ellett’s daughter was asked to describe what kind of father he is.
“Very supportive of all his kids,” she said. “Always listening to what we had to talk about.”
Ebert described his father-in-law as “very well read,” smart, even-tempered and “a very devout Presbyterian.”
Ellett grew up on a farm in Hudson. While in Norwalk, he has been a 4-H adviser and heavily involved in First Presbyterian Church, the Salvation Army, Norwalk Kiwanis and Norwalk Lions.