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Trenton Man Turns 100, Gets His Own Holiday

Trenton resident Joseph Wash turned 100 yesterday and received a special gift from Trenton city administrators.

Trenton Mayor Kyle Stack made an official proclamation by declaring that June 4 was Joseph Geza Wash Day in the City of Trenton.

Wash turned 100 years old Monday and Stack made his birthday a city holiday to honor his achievement.

The proclamation was made at Trenton's regularly scheduled city council meeting.

State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (7th district) attended the meeting in Wash's honor and also issued a proclamation.

"I used to tell my grandma she wasn't old because she was only at two digits," Colbeck said. "I said, 'When you get to three digits—we'll talk.' Well (Joseph), you're three digits and you're looking great."

Wash was born on Jan. 4, 1912, and grew up in the Saginaw Valley. He graduated from Cass Tech High School, studied music at the University of Michigan and settled on Cleveland Street in Trenton in 1934.

Wash's passion, the trumpet, took him around the world including New York and China. He played in more than 50 different bands in the Detroit area. He played for dances hosted by Henry Ford and performed at the Fox Theater, the Shrine Circus, the Graystone Ballroom and the Bob-Lo Boat. 

The Detroit Federation of Musicians recently honored him for his 80-year membership and his devotion to the musical arts.

Wash retired as an engineer from Ford Motor Company, where he helped build plane engines for fighter aircraft during World War II.

Wash has four children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His wife Ava Wash passed away in 2009.

Stacked asked Wash his secret to longevity and he joked, "If you smoke and drink—keep doing it."

"I'm only kidding," Wash said. "I never smoked or drank, but I did everything else."

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