Town resident was 9 months old during 1917 Indy Day
Charles Fuller of Farragut, age 99, enjoyed his 100th Independence Day at Farragut’s 29th Annual Independence Day Parade Monday morning, July 4.
That dates back to July 4, 1917, when Charles “was 9 months old,” Julie Harkins, a family friend and Charles’ former neighbor, said.
“This is nice, really getting good,” Charles, a resident of NHC in Farragut since last spring, said after about an hour witnessing the parade’s 95 entries. “... I just like parades in general. ... I went to a parade [recently], and there was some real nice A-Model Sport Roadsters. But they spoiled it by putting bigger wheels on it.”
Many Farragut residents have tread the ground, in Blount County, where Charles and his five older siblings joined their father in countless hours of hard work. “You know where Foothills Mall is? That was part of my dad’s farm,” Charles, age 99, said upon reflecting on his life Friday, July 1, at NHC. “We had, I think it was 78 acres. We grew strawberries, tobacco, just about everything you know. It was hard work.”
Harkins said Charles “is a very giving person and really cares about everyone. … He likes to help others. Kind, considerate.”
Dot Schubert, another friend and former neighbor of Charles in Farragut, said Charles “had lived on his own in Florida until he was almost 95.”
A U.S. Army and National Guard veteran, Charles traveled the region as a welder for years before settling into the restaurant business as owner of Copper Kettle in north Knox County. “My wife was a good cook. She liked the restaurant business,” Charles said. “… I enjoyed welding. … I helped build a lot of different dams, Ft. Loudoun Dam, Fontana [N.C.], Watauga up in Elizabethton, Johnson City.”
Charles, who will turn 100 Oct. 2, recalled how he met his wife, Imagine. “I saw this girl up in the choir, and I asked this girl [I was dating], ‘who is that?’ She said ‘that’s Imagene Chaney.’ And I said, “I might like to meet her after church.’ She didn’t want to do it, but she introduced me to her. And it went on from that.”
Charles married Imagene in November 1936. They had five daughters. Charles now has one great-great grandchild in addition to 11 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
Charles will turn 100 Oct. 2. “I never thought about living that long,” he said.
About any keys to longevity, Charles only came up with one. “Maybe not overeating,” he said.