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GM's oldest retiree turns 109
GM and UAW officials send Ernest Pusey a letter of congratulations.

BRADENTON -- Not only has Ernest Pusey outlived Oldsmobile, but he was born two years before the automobile line first hit the road.

Pusey's connection to cars stretches back to the earliest rumblings of the internal combustion engine. The Bradenton resident, who turns 109 today, is General Motors' oldest retiree.

Dressed in a tan cardigan and a red, white and blue ball cap, Pusey celebrated his birthday Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by grandchildren at American Legion Post 24 on 75th Street West.

Pusey's affiliation with GM started shortly after World War I, when he found work at a plant in Flint, Mich. He worked for the company in several jobs before retiring in May 1958 as a tool-and-die maker at Chevrolet's former Plant Four in Flint.

Pusey said he still remembers the early days of the industry, building vehicles that people would hardly recognize today. He said he appreciated his time with the automaker.

"I remember some of the strikes," said Pusey, who's arrival at GM preceded the creation of the United Auto Workers by nine years. "Outside of that, the memories are pretty good."

Pusey has outlived a sister, a son, two wives and numerous fishing buddies.

Most days, he stays at his mobile home on State Road 64, reading a newspaper and watching TV shows like "Wheel of Fortune."

He gets around with a walker, but seems surprisingly mobile without it. He can recollect days spent fishing for grouper and sheepshead under the Skyway Bridge and dancing with his second wife, Ida, who died 10 years ago.

Since then, Pusey has become a sort of honorary mayor of his mobile home park and welcomes visits by neighbors who check in daily.

"All the old widows love him. They're always bringing food by," said stepgranddaughter Carol Tumidiski of Ellenton.

The American Legion made Pusey an honorary member last year in recognition of his service aboard the battleship USS Wyoming. Pusey would have joined the military again, but he was too old to enlist by the time the United States entered World War II.

Like other veterans returning from war, Pusey found work in a factory. His first car: a 1922 Chevrolet.

To commemorate Pusey's birthday, Gary Cowger, president of GM North America, and Richard Shoemaker, vice president of UAW, sent him a joint letter of congratulations.

"We thought you might like to know as well that you were born 13 years before GM was formed, two years before the creation of Oldsmobile, seven years before Cadillac and eight years before Buick was founded," the letter says.

Of GM's former employees and surviving spouses, 240 were 100 or older as of March 1. Of those, 93 are actual retirees like Pusey.

Full Article Here


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I read this article yesterday and had to laugh. Not to sound too inhumane, but GM's actuaries must be dying when they think about this man's tenacity for living. He, along with the 239 other centenarian retired persons, are sucking the pension system dry!

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Originally posted by Ballistic+May 5 2004, 03:13 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Ballistic @ May 5 2004, 03:13 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-monkeylizard@May 5 2004, 05:03 PM
I just want to know what is the correct pronunciation of his last name.
He's a 109 year old *****, that's all.

Hey, some one HAD to say it.

Yes.. I do have a ticket to hell and I must say, a 1st class ticket is the way to go. [/b][/quote]
Hell he probaly had that name before the female part did <_<
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