He's voted in every election since 1940 when he cast his ballot in the election between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Wendel Wilkie. At a 101, he cast his vote in this election.

Battle Creek resident Robert O'Brien turns 101-years-old this Halloween. It's safe to say that things have changed since Robert was born on Halloween Day in 1919. In 1931 Robert's father became ill and at just 12-years-old, he hurriedly completed the seventh and eighth grades.

Courtesy of the O'Brien family 1922 Robert age 3 with his brother David age 1

Why? Because in 1931 finishing the eighth grade meant you had graduated. High school was optional at the time. That did not mean that Robert was able to relax though, as the man of the house he went to work supporting his family. Robert's son says his father continuously held two jobs from 1931 until 1984. That is 73 years of working two jobs.

1940 Battle Creek Republican Headquarters Courtesy of Willard Library (Site of the current "Kitchen Proper" restaurant)

Robert's career was not only long but diverse. He worked as a farmer, logger, heavy equipment operator, carpenter, roofer, painter, butcher, greenhouse security, and maintenance. He retired from the City of Battle Creek, Kellogg Airport maintenance crew in January of 1985. He continued working as a handyman, then part-time jobs until his second retirement at age 85 in March 2004.

Courtesy of the O'Brien family 1972 Nixon at Kellogg Airport

Robert married Sarah Smith in 1941, they have three children together and four generations of grandchildren. Sarah passed away at age 84 in 2007.

Courtesy of the O'Brien family Robert O'Brien at Post Gardens

You might say Robert's life story is peppered with history from the City of Battle Creek, and you would be right. In honor of his numerical milestone, Battle Creek Mayor Mark Behnke issued a Certificate of Recognition for the longtime resident.

Courtesy of the O'Brien family Robert O'Brien's 90th birthday

At 101 years of age, Robert now resides at the Laurels of Bedford nursing home. His family says there is a way you can help him celebrate this amazing milestone, by sending him a birthday card. His family hopes that since they have been unable to visit him in person due to COVID-19 protocols that members of the community will help make the occasion special. The goal is for Robert to receive a birthday card for each year he's walked the earth.

If you would like to help Robert O'Brien celebrate this amazing feat, you can send a card to the following address:

Robert D. O'Brien Room #318 Laurels of Bedford
270 N. Bedford Rd.
Battle Creek, MI 49037

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