Oldest grad from Ottawa Hills H.S. still going strong after well - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Oldest grad from Ottawa Hills H.S. still going strong after well-lived life

John Galbraith, as a high schooler in 1941 (Source: WTOL) John Galbraith, as a high schooler in 1941 (Source: WTOL)
Ottawa Hills High School, under construction in the late 30s (Source: WTOL) Ottawa Hills High School, under construction in the late 30s (Source: WTOL)
John Galbraith works every day in his Maumee office (Source: WTOL) John Galbraith works every day in his Maumee office (Source: WTOL)
John Galbraith with President George H.W. Bush (Source: WTOL) John Galbraith with President George H.W. Bush (Source: WTOL)
MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) -

It’s often said you are only as old as you feel.

John Galbraith from Ottawa Hills has been feeling young for almost ten decades.

Galbraith is a youthful 94-years-old.

He proudly shows off pictures he has of himself with Vice President Joe Biden in 2008, or him
with President Nixon, or President Ford, or the first President George Bush.

And that's just a start.

"In my lifetime, I've seen all the presidents starting with Coolidge,” said Galbraith.

Not bad for a kid from Ottawa Hills who wasn't sure where life would take him.

Galbraith worried about what he wanted to do when he was a young man, but not for long.

With some of his classmates,he found an early purpose, campaigning for a high school to be built in Ottawa Hills.

He even went door to door asking for votes for the school.

And by 1937, it won

So the new high school was coming on and it opened in fall September of 39,” explained Galbraith.

That allowed John and his classmates to stay in Ottawa Hills for high school where they became, in 1941, the school's first graduating class.

The class had twenty-eight members.

Only one remains however.

"I'm the only one, I call myself the last of the first, which is the first graduating class and the last member, surviving member,” said Galbraith.

John would also survive two tours of duty as a Naval officer on a destroyer in World War II and the Korean conflict.

Afterwards, Galbraith returned home to raise a family and start a business.

By the 1960's politics came calling, perhaps spurned on by his door-knocking years earlier.

“Well, I just had an interest in it, I don't know how you explain that, I was just curious and had a strong feeling about it,” said Galbraith.

Those strong feelings put John in the Ohio State legislature where he spent 20 years until the mid-1980s.

He was involved in a number of critical pieces of legislation.

It was a time when he says the atmosphere was different.

"It was a good time. I got along with people. People got along better then. Good friends were Democrats, I was a Republican then. I made a lot of good friends, ate with them, do things with them, work with them,” said Galbraith.

Galbraith says you have to be an optimist to be in politics or to enjoy what you do in general.

Even now, he is still working, every day, in his office in Maumee.

He’s a landlord now, running 80 apartments at age 94 with no plans to retire.

I don't like the weekends, they drag, I'd rather come here and do what I'm doing,” said Galbraith.

And what he's doing is what he enjoys with a sense of service and asense of humor.

His has been a life well-lived, and one that is far from over.

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