Published June 24th, 2009
The Three-Quarter Century Club Celebrates
Submitted by Thomas Black
Thomas Deahl and wife Aileen pose with plaque honoring them as the Longest-Married Couple. He is 94 years of age; she, 90. They have lived in Orinda since 1957. At right is emcee John Fazel Photo Thomas Black

Members of the Three-Quarter Century Club were honored on June 10 at the Orinda Community Church, which hosted the annual luncheon saluting residents of Orinda who are at least 75 years of age.
This year's celebration marked the tenth anniversary of the increasingly popular event, again co-sponsored by Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary (LSR), Prudential California Realty and the church. Over 100 guests attending this festive event, according to perennial emcee John Fazel, a charter member of LSR and local Prudential California realtor. Fazel takes over as President of Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary on July 1.
Said Fazel, "It's tremendously heart-warming to see the smiles on the faces of our honored guests, (some of whom) otherwise see little public recognition for what they've done."
Entertainment came in the form of tales of yore spun by McAvoy Layne, known to many as "The Ghost of Mark Twain." He has performed as Twain's professional "reincarnation" for more than two decades. Layne is a local boy, belonging to the Miramonte High School Class of '61. When not impersonating Mark Twain -- a la Hal Holbrook -- Layne hangs his hat in Incline Village, Nev. During the summer, he also pilots a tourist pleasure boat that plies the waters of Lake Tahoe daily.
As in years past, special awards were presented to individuals with notable life attainment. Crowned "King" as the senior-most man was Thomas Deahl, aged 94. He and his wife Aileen, 90, have lived in Orinda since 1957.
Named "Queen" for the third consecutive year was Helen Vurek, 99. She has been an Orinda resident for 70 years.
"Baby of the Year" went to Eartha Newsong, a seven-year Orinda resident who turned 75 last January and is very active in the Orinda senior community.
Other special awards were for the couple married the longest -- the Deahls -- and the shortest -- Bobbie Dodson Nielsen and Fred Nielsen, married less than a year.

"Baby of the Year" award went to Eartha Newsong, who turned 75 last January. She has resided in Orinda for seven years Photo Thomas Black
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