Dasher celebrates 101 years with love of his life

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jack Dasher pecks his wife, Katie, on the lips at his 101st birthday party Monday at Memorial Manor.

Jack Dasher pecks his wife, Katie, on the lips at his 101st birthday party Monday at Memorial Manor.

It doesn’t matter what time of day, when or where he is, Jack Dasher loves to dance. By himself, with his wife, Katie—it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t even need a tune.

“He hears his own music in his heart,” Memorial Manor activities director Karrell Bush said.

Dasher celebrated his 101st birthday Monday. Though he doesn’t officially turn that age until July 28, Memorial Manor thought they would celebrate early.

Email newsletter signup

What better way to celebrate the momentous month than dancing with his one true love?

The couple met at the Decatur County Senior Citizen Center. He said the moment he saw Katie, he knew that was the woman he wanted to be with. It took him 87 years to find her. His face glows every time she walks in the room.

Sitting with Katie at a table, he reached out and held her hand. His skin, like parchment paper, pressed against hers. A toothy grin spread across his face.

“They say we’re too old to be in love,” Dasher said. “I don’t care what they say. I’ll be in love anyway.”

Dasher loves to read. He’ll sing you a hymn whenever you’d like to hear one. But it’s his wife that really livens him up. She comes to visit with him at the manor two to three times a day, everyday. They used to live together, but health issues moved Dasher to his new home on Shotwell Street. That doesn’t get in their way, though.

“When she is near, that’s it,” Bush said. “I’m not kidding you, that’s it for him. That’s the spark. It makes his day. Sometimes we have to work really hard to keep him from following her. We have to detour her out of here, because he will follow her.”

Katie said she would have him home with her if she could take him.

“I feel like he is lonesome in here, and I need to come and see him,” she said. “If I could, I would bring him home. I would. But I can’t take care of him.”

Dasher said you better believe Katie makes him happy. She’s everything a 101-year-old man could want.

“Kiss me, honey!” he said as he leaned in to peck Katie on the lips. Dasher followed the kiss with an excited, “Oh, yeah!”

There’s a lively spark inside of him that makes him a hoot.

“He’s comical, very comical, great sense of humor,” activities assistant Barbara McCoy said.

Dasher and Katie like to poke at each other. He’s a fan of practical jokes, silly shenanigans. She’s able to put up with it, loving him all the while.

Dasher grew up in Fowlstown, where his parents ran a general merchandise story and post office for 50 years. After graduating from Faceville High School in 1933, he joined the Marines, eventually fighting for the U.S. in WWII.

Following his discharge, he moved to Macon and managed the Tradewinds Motel in Fosyth for seven years. He also owned a service station in Macon and worked for a while at Belk. When his father died in 1963, he came back to Fowlstown to care for his mother. He served as Justice of the Peace in that community.