WWII vet turns 100

A local World War II veteran is celebrating 100 years of life Thursday.

Lewis Barnette was born on December 6, 1912, in Virgina, but spent most of his life after high school in Northern Indiana.

Barnette worked for several notable companies including Studebaker, Wheelabrator and the Palais-Royal. But said his proudest accomplishments were his service in the army and ownership of a local apple orchard.

Barnette is a combat veteran from 1942-1945, and was drafted just a month after Pearl Harbor. He was the recipient of several awards including a Purple Heart and several Bronze Hearts.

In addition to his proud service, Barnette spoke of his apple orchard, Gray Orchard on Adams Road. Fondly known as the Gray Fox, Barnette says he owned and operated the orchard for 19 years before selling. He remembered back then, he sold bushels for $3, and hired neighborhood kids to pick the apples for $0.50 a bushel, quite different than today's prices.

Today, Barnette lives with his good friend of 45 years, Ruthann, who cares for him. To celebrate his 100th year, he plans to have dinner wtih his visitng nephew. Saturday, Ruthann will host an open house in his honor.

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