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Lt. Cmdr. Richard Giles Achorn

Very few people get to be 104. But even fewer people get to have the life that Robert Giles Achorn has lived. Reading his resume and his accomplishments is almost like reading what three or four people get to do in a single lifetime.

Achorn was born in 1916, a chaotic year when more than 100 nations were fighting in World War I, the Mexican Revolution led by Pancho Villa made it to American soil and Woodrow Wilson was president of the United States. He grew up in West Newton, Mass., less than 10 miles west of Boston and attended the Rivers School, a prep school for boys founded in 1905. From his childhood years, Achorn remembers his pet rabbit and his love of music, especially playing clarinet and saxophone.

After graduating from high school, he was admitted to Dartmouth College, the Ivy League school in New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1939. He later enlisted in the Navy and served as a lieutenant commander during World War II. He cherishes great memories from the times he served his country and proudly shows pictures, recognition certificates and mementos from those years. 

Back in civilian life, Achorn worked as a journalist for the Wesley Townsend publication before having a successful career spanning almost four decades as a sales manager for the Morton Salt Co.

His recent 104th birthday celebration at Barrington Terrace of Fort Myers included flowers, balloons and well wishes via Zoom from relatives who still live on the East Coast, including some of his eight children and five grandchildren. His beloved wife, Trish, his companion for 54 years, passed away in 2017.

Achorn is still an avid reader who enjoys listening to music from the 1930s-40s; watching football and soccer; collecting stamps and coins; and drinking his favorite beer, Yuengling Traditional Lager, “every Wednesday and Saturday."

Happy 104th birthday, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Giles Achorn! Thank you for your service.

 

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Wilma Rivera

About the Author: Wilma Rivera

Wilma is a former print and broadcast journalist who has worked in corporate communications for the last decade.