Jaffrey’s oldest resident celebrates 100th birthday

Don Lawler greets guests at his 100th birthday party on Saturday.

Don Lawler greets guests at his 100th birthday party on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Don Lawler sits in a place of honor with 100 balloons, each with a $1 bill inside as a birthday present from his family.

Don Lawler sits in a place of honor with 100 balloons, each with a $1 bill inside as a birthday present from his family. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Don Lawler receives hugs from family as he pulls up to his 100th birthday party on Saturday.

Don Lawler receives hugs from family as he pulls up to his 100th birthday party on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Don Lawler receives hugs from family as he pulls up to his 100th birthday party on Saturday.

Don Lawler receives hugs from family as he pulls up to his 100th birthday party on Saturday. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Don Lawler with his daughter, Joanna Lajoie.

Don Lawler with his daughter, Joanna Lajoie. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Don Lawler and his oldest son, Darrel Lawler.

Don Lawler and his oldest son, Darrel Lawler. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

Don Lawler chats with friends Bobby McCreery and Sue Burseil.

Don Lawler chats with friends Bobby McCreery and Sue Burseil. STAFF PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI—

By ASHLEY SAARI

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 10-02-2023 11:02 AM

Don Lawler, Jaffrey’s oldest resident, was celebrated by his family on Saturday during his 100th birthday party.

Lawler, who has 12 children, imparted some words of wisdom to family members who attended the celebration, particularly his children and great-grandchildren.

“First of all, thank you all for being here. It’s so nice of all of you. I want to encourage the children, and tell them to live a good, clean life, and pay attention to your parents,” Lawler instructed from a recliner set up on the main stage of the Hidden Hills ballroom in Rindge. “Treat everybody like you would like to be treated yourself.”

The final admonition from Lawler, who is dealing with hearing loss: “And take care of your ears! That’s the biggie right there.”

Lawler was honored by the town two years ago – when he was 98 – with the town’s Boston Post Cane, a tradition of presenting a gold-capped cane, originally given to New England towns by the Boston Post newspaper, to the town’s oldest citizen.

Lawler is a longtime resident of the region. He spent most of his life living in Sharon, and much of his time working as a mechanic at the garage he owned in New Ipswich.

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The family arranged several surprises for Lawler, including tying 100 bright balloons to his recliner, each of which contained a $1 bill as a birthday surprise. One of Lawler’s granddaughters had already made a tradition of giving him a gift card with the amount equivalent to his age to places like McDonald’s and Home Depot.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on X @AshleySaariMLT.