This week, a special surprise is planned to honor Calhoun County's oldest gentleman who will turn 106 this year.

They don't make em' like that anymore

It's a phrase we hear often. Whether it's cars, washing machines, or even homes. But what about the people? Raymond Malotte was a member of the Greatest Generation, a generation who without, we would never have seen the defeat of the fascist nazis regime and the end to some of the worst crimes against humanity.

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Over the last year and a half, I've thought often of this generation and their ability to put differences aside for the greater good. Not just individuals but titans of business and industry. If our country were faced with the same foes today, would we be able to unite in the same way?

Courtesy of the family of Raymond Malotte

Raymond Malotte was born on December 8, 1915, in Ridgeville, Indiana. The family moved to Augusta, Michigan when Raymond was 10-years-old and just four years later the family moved to Battle Creek, Michigan. He attended school at Southwestern Junior High School where he played the saxophone, soccer, and tennis. Raymond graduated from Battle Creek Central High School in 1935.

Upon graduation, Raymond went on to take a job at National Biscuit. In 1942, he married his childhood friend June Sherrick. Raymond was a member of the local singing quartet known as the Marksmen. One year later Uncle Sam came calling and Raymond was drafted to serve his country in WWII by the Army. He was in the 967th Engineer Maintenance Company and was determined to be an expert marksman by the Army. He signed up for the draft at Firestation #4 on Kendall Street, which is now The Fire Hub. Raymond remained in India and Burma with the Army until the war was over.

After returning home, Raymond and June welcomed twin daughters. As the family began to grow, a larger home was needed. He then began working to build a family home on Helmer Road. It took 5 years to complete with Raymond doing much of the work himself with no prior experience. He also became a Pattern Maker and spent 32 years at Union Pump Company.

A special event with a very special guy

On Thursday, June 17, Heritage Assisted Living and Reflections Memory Care are putting on a Classic Car Show from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 14420 South Helmer Road. Proceeds from the event will go to benefit Alzheimer's Association. There will be a silent auction, 50/50 raffles, food, and a special surprise for Calhoun County's oldest gentleman. Members of the community as well as Mr. Malotte's family will honor him with a special surprise ceremony.

Courtesy of the family of Raymond Malotte

Do you know someone who is celebrating a special birthday milestone and would like to see them receive all the well wishes they deserve? Email me at lacy.james@townsquaremedia.com

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