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Longtime local resident marks 100 years

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Glenn Lucas, a lifelong Oregonian, served in the U.S. Navy and on the Gervais School Board

INDEPENDENT PHOTO: JULIA COMNES - Glenn Lucas has lived in Oregon most of his life. He raised his family in Gervais, where his family said he served on the school board.Glenn Lucas, a lifelong Oregonian and resident of Cascade Park Retirement Community, is turning 100 on May 17.

Lucas was born in Rickreall.

"I was born. Maybe I was hatched," Lucas joked.

His family moved to Hebo when he was 3 years old and eventually moved to Monmouth, where Lucas says he got most of his education.

He's lived in Oregon his whole life, except for when he served in the U.S. Navy.

"I'm an Oregonian," Lucas said. "I've got moss on my back and webs between my toes."

Lucas grew up on a farm, spending his days going to school and helping his parents with farm work. He would drive horses and milk cows from a young age.

He has fond memories of riding his family's horses, especially a white horse named Lady, whom Lucas would ride to school.

COURTESY PHOTO: LUCAS FAMILY - Glenn Lucas' graduation photo, circa 1936.He and his late wife, Thelma, grew up together. Glenn Lucas was only 12 days older than his wife, who passed away in 2005.

"My dad was a hopeless romantic for my mom," said his daughter, Merrillie Lucas, who lives in Newberg. "He was always bringing in flowers for her."

His first job off of the farm was running logs from Salem to Oregon City for his wife's family. He drove log trucks, which Merrillie Lucas said was a more dangerous profession back then than it is now.

"He'd be going down the hill so fast, he'd be wiping out fences out of some of the farms," she said. "Those old trucks didn't have good brakes."

Glenn Lucas enlisted in the U.S. Navy near the end of World War II when he was 28, making him one of the oldest members of his crew.

Merrillie Lucas said his ship accompanied the USS Indianapolis, a ship that famously sank after it was torpedoed by the Japanese Imperial Army while en route to the Philippines. Merrillie said her dad's ship was the first to rescue whomever was left after the ship sank.

"He said he was on burial duty for hours," Merrillie Lucas said.

After returning from the war, Glenn Lucas started an excavation business with his brother Jess, where he worked for the rest of his career.

Glenn and Thelma Lucas had three children: Merrillie, Michael and Louise. Louise died in 2008, according to Merrillie Lucas. He has six grandchildren.

The children were raised in Gervais, where most of Glenn and Thelma Lucas' extended family was located.

"We lived across the street from both sets of grandparents," Merrillie Lucas said.

Glenn Lucas has had a number of hobbies throughout his life, including fishing, working on cars, gardening and wood carving.

Merrillie Lucas describes her father as being crafty and resourceful.

"He'd build things out of things that other people would just throw away," Merrillie Lucas said.

Her father built lots of contraptions to help with his gardening, including a device made out of scrap metal that helped bring the worms up to the top of the soil.

He'd often take Merrillie Lucas fishing at Detroit Lake, and when the water was low he'd scavenge for fishing supplies other people left behind.

He and his wife were active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Woodburn. Merrillie Lucas said that her father also served on the Gervais School Board for a number of years.

When the Interstate 5 interchange was built in Woodburn, Glenn Lucas was one of the so-called Sidewalk Superintendents, a group of Woodburn seniors who would sit on the sidewalk to watch the construction, often criticizing the way the construction was done. Glenn Lucas, with his background in excavation, was especially critical of the way the drainage was handled.

Glenn Lucas may be 100 years old, but he's full of detailed stories from his life and funny comebacks. When asked what his secret is to living a long life, he quipped, "Tell lies."

His family is hosting a birthday celebration for him at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Cascade Room at Cascade Park. Anyone from the community is welcome to come.

Julia Comnes covers all things Woodburn. She can be reached at 503-765-1195 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..