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Shining Stars: John Tabacchi

John Tabbachi turns 100 years old on Thursday. 

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“He's a good example of the American story. Came here with nothing. Worked hard and things worked out for him, and he shares what he has afterwards.”

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John Tabacchi speaks highly of his father, also named John, who has learned how to be giving and gracious in the last 100 years.

John turns 100-years-old on Thursday. And without a doubt, he has a nurturing soul. It shows in his giving spirit, and his growing garden.

He's been known to grow and give food to neighbors, friends and family.

“Practically every time I come here, he wants to give me something out of the garden,” his son said.

Inside his Harrison County home, John’s walls are filled with medals and memories of another passion.

“I was a first draftee in Harrison County and went with the last of the volunteers,” he said.

John, recently engaged at the time, says he was supposed to go in for 1 year, but then...

“December 7th happened and that changed everything,” he said.

During the next 4 years, John served in places like Italy and Africa and was promoted on several occasions. His time spent serving our country was commended years later by the likes of Bob Dole.

It's no surprise this Purple Heart recipient captured the hearts of his customers years later as part owner of Reilly Chevrolet-Cadillac in downtown Steubenville for 3 decades.

“I met a lot of nice people down there,” he said.

“He was great with his customers,” former customer William Jackson said. “Treat everybody nice. Enter and you'd be laughing.”

John's known to have covered monthly car bills when customers fell on hard times.

“I needed work, and he had a farm,” Jackson said. “I went and work on his farm, and he'd pay me for that sometimes.

John, only recently stopped farming 30 heads of cattle, and his son says he's showing no signs of slowing down.

“He wears me out,” his son said. “He really does. He lives by himself, cooks for himself; he mows the grass.”

John is heavily involved at his church, which recently hosted an early 100th birthday celebration for him.

He is also dedicated to the local Lions Club.

“I think he has perfect attendance in the Lions Club,” his son said. “I think 71 years.”

He gives 100 percent to everything he does, something John says he learned from his father.

“Everybody worked together and helped each other at that time, and I think that was the lesson my dad taught me,” he said.

Now his friends are planting their wishes, for a Shining Star as he grows another year older.

“One-hundred more,” Jackson said.

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