The Philadelphia Protestant Home last week celebrated the 100th birthday of resident Philip Grutzmacher.
Grutzmacher is among eight residents of PPH, 6401 Martins Mill Road in Lawndale, who are at least 100 years old.
PPH president and CEO Anthony Manzo was among those who sung Happy Birthday to Grutzmacher, who was treated to two birthday cakes.
Others on hand included Grutzmacher’s son, Phil, and his wife, Linda; his daughter, June Eskow, and her husband, Eugene, and their daughter Eva; and his daughter, Debbie.
Grutzmacher’s table was decorated with red, white and blue balloons and a “100” birthday balloon.
State Rep. Jared Solomon, state Sen. Tina Tartaglione and City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker arranged for citations for the occasion.
Born Jan. 23, 1919, Grutzmacher grew up in Feltonville near 5th and Cayuga streets. He is a 1938 graduate of Olney High School.
Grutzmacher served in the U.S. Army from 1942-45, stationed in Norfolk, Virginia and assigned to the medical corps. He worked for more than 35 years in the aircraft parts division of Kelsey-Hayes Company, at Front Street and Olney Avenue. He was also a part-time barber for more than 50 years.
Phil and Edith Hinkle Grutzmacher raised their three children on Palmetto Street in Lawncrest before moving to the Protestant Home in 2015. They were married for 69 years when Edith died in 2016.
Over the years, Grutzmacher was a member of the Burholme Garden Club, tended to his vegetable and flower gardens and enjoyed raising tropical fish into his 90s.
Every year, PPH hosts a Veterans Day luncheon to honor residents who are veterans. Neighbors also used to organize an American flag-raising ceremony at Lawncrest Recreation Center on the holiday. Each time, Grutzmacher recites the war poem In Flanders Fields by memory. ••