90th birthday bash held for Robert E. Lea

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Robert E. Lea, center, celebrated his 90th birthday recently Shell Knob’s VFW Memorial Post 2203 — the same post he helped to establish in 1978. Contributed photo

Retired Master Chief Petty Officer, USN, Robert E. Lea, more commonly known as "Bob" turned 90 recently, and in honor of the occasion, he was treated to a surprise birthday celebration at Shell Knob's VFW Memorial Post 2203 — the same post he helped to establish in 1978.

“Over 75 well-wishers were there to help a flabbergasted Mr. Lea usher in what we all hope will be the best year of his life,” said Jeff Harp, who sent a press release about the event. “Always the optimist, and in response to "SURPRISE!" from the crowd, Bob shot back, "Thank you and I sure hope you all can be around to help me celebrate my 100th!"

Harp said Lea’s keen wit is just one of the reasons so many people attended in the first place.

“No doubt, other reasons have to do with the love and admiration so many expressed while there at Bob's party,” Harp said. “Family, friends and well-wishers, some having come from as far away as Hawaii, were there to help celebrate a long, and well-lived life. Clearly, this is a man who knows how to live. Interestingly, Bob, believing the rouse of an excuse for why he first thought he was there, prepared some of his famous home-made ice cream.

“This of course was promptly served with his surprise birthday cake. Thank you Bob and here's wishing you many more well-lived years!