Home Collections from Colleen Former Middlefield Resident Turns 100

Former Middlefield Resident Turns 100

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By Colleen Lockhart

Eileen (Crittenden Pawlowski Bender) Phillips, born June 11, 1919, celebrated her 100 year birthday in Sun City, Florida in June. Many of you may remember Eileen growing up, attending school, getting married and working in Middlefield.

The Crittenden family lived on State Street in the home owned by her parents, Thomas and Ola. She had two older sisters Lora and Farah, and older brother, Carroll. 

After dating for four years, Eileen married John Pawlowski on December 26, 1940 in St. Edward’s Parish in Parkman and they lived with John’s mother, Anna, in Middlefield. John worked for the B & O Railroad as a track foreman, a job he held for over 30 years. At that time, Eileen worked for the county Agricultural Extension Service. 

John enlisted in the Army on December 16, 1942 after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was stationed in England, France, Belgium and Germany and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was in the Railway Battalion inspecting the railroad bridges before the trains travelled over them and was fortunate to stay in the railroad camp cars most of the time. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army and received a European Theater service medal with four bronze stars.

When John returned from the war, he went back to work for the B & O Railroad. Since he needed their car, Eileen resigned from the Agricultural Extension Service and walked to work at Randy Davis’s car dealership. They bought a dairy farm in West Farmington and she eventually went back to work at Burton Manufacturing Division of the Johnson Rubber Company. Later, she worked in accounting for Johnson Rubber. After retirement, she and John continued to live in West Farmington. 

John was born on Aug. 24, 1916 and died in November of 1989 at the age of 73 and is buried in Middlefield cemetery.

Eileen sold the West Farmington farm and moved to Florida to take care of her sister, Lora Johnson. Lora passed away at the age of 104 years.

Eileen married Arthur Otto Bender and remained in Florida. After his passing, she married William R. Phillips. After his passing, she remains a widow and is enjoying life as a new Centenarian at 100 years of age.

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