GREENVILLE — R. Eugene “Gene” Sharp, former Greenville city treasurer, marks his 100th birthday today.
An open house is being held in his honor in the Brick Room of the Brethren Retirement Community from 2-4 p.m. today to celebrate this special occasion.
Sharp would enjoy seeing and hearing from family and friends. If unable to attend, the family asks that cards may be sent to him, Room JL 371, BRC, 750 Chestnut, Greenville, OH 45331.
His sister, Mary Alice Redman, said Sharp prior to World War II, managed the Kroger Store in Arcanum and after retiring from his tour of duty in the military came back home to the same type of position with Marsh in Greenville.
“In 1967, he left the grocery business and was soon appointed service director for the City of Greenville under Mayor Dan Hawley. Then, when he left, so did Gene,” Redman recalled. “Next, he was a bookkeeper for Manix Construction and worked there 13 years before he retired. In 1989, he took the treasurer’s job. He said his wife, Catherine, wanted him to run [for the office] so he did. The first time he faced a tough opponent and didn’t even think about a victory. He pulled it off and ran unopposed ever since.”
She said her brother helped at the First United Methodist Church with money and a lot of volunteer work. He was also affiliated with the American Legion, White Shrine and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“He was drafted into the Navy, served for a short time and was discharged for a medical problem,” Redman said. “And then lived to be 100.”
Sharp was the middle child of eight born to Ray and Maud (Stephens) Sharp. His siblings in order of age were Charles, Edna Clark, Major, Gene, Dain, Helen Harter, Anna Mae Parsons and Redman.
They were a farm family who always got along and were always together.
“All of us were born north of Ansonia,” said Redman. “I was 4 1/2 years old when we moved up on [State Route] 118 near Greenville.”
Their sister Edna, lacked six months of being 100 when she died in July 2011.
“Mom lived to be 95, and Dad died at the age of 67,” Redman said.
Sharp was married to the former Catherine Michael, who died a week before their 75th wedding anniversary. They had no children.
“Dogs were their love,” said Alice Hogg, Redman’s daughter, who described her uncle as “frugal.”
Sharp is now living at the Brethren Retirement Community in the assisted living area. He went there two years ago, but before that, lived by himself.
“He likes to go the library and likes to read the paper,” Hogg said. “He enjoys going to church services there.”
He and Catherine watched baseball and basketball games and he liked growing roses at home.
“He was a regular morning and Sunday night person at McDonald’s,” Redman said. “He drove until he was 97. He only takes one medication and he doesn’t want to take that. His hobby was working and he’d do it now if he could.”