Centenarian Gene Willem credits dance with longevity

Gene Willem was born in Philly and celebrated his 102nd birthday on April 23. He lived thru the Great Depression, worked in the conservation core, learned machining parts design and manufacturing.

He opened his own business and was quite successful. Gene has two grown kids and has been married three times. He is now a widower but has a long time gal, Alicia Callandar, and lives in Village Green.

Dances plays a large part of his longevity – he dances three times a week, reads voraciously and stays active.

“He is just amazing, smart, very with it, all around great guy,” said Dorinda, Alicia’s daughter.

The Vero Beach Community Center was the sight of his 102nd birthday with a dance, of course. He celebrated with some 50 of his dancing friends.

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