100th birthday: George R. Jefferson

LIMA — George Reckford Jefferson Jr. is celebrating his 100th birthday with family and friends from around the country.

Jefferson was born on April 13, 1924 in Texarkana, Texas.

He is an Army veteran having served in the Rhineland and Northern France Campaign during World War II. Jefferson moved to Lima shortly after the war ended.

Jefferson first worked for the Metal Coating Company that had relocated from Baltimore to Lima in 1949. He started work for the Metropolitan Bank as a janitor, rising to several positions within customer service and collections, and becoming the first black mamager for the MET. Jefferson retired from the MET in 1991, having achieved the position of vice president of customer service. One of his notable accomplishments was serving on the Allen County Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees which was responsible for the establishment of the transportation center in downtown Lima.

Jefferson played tennis until he was 86, managed his condominium association and would drive himself to make the rounds visiting friends and their families at retirement homes in Lima until he was 97. At his current managed residence, Jefferson still makes it to the gym for his bike ride and physical therapy. Jefferson is known around Lima for his big baritone voice and signature laugh.