On Jan. 28, John Russell “Russ” Elmore, a resident of Diamond Ridge independent senior living in Troy marked a century of life.

For his 100th birthday, Russ’ daughters Susan Elmore and Nancy Elmore Wendlandt held a birthday lunch for the three of them. The family was unable to hold a large party due to the pandemic, but a birthday card shower was planned by Russ’ niece Ardy Elmore.

Here are some of the highlights from a life story provided by the family.

Russ was the eighth of 11 children born to Willard Ray Elmore and Rosa Lewis Elmore and grew up on a small dairy farm that also operated as a summer hotel in South Fallsburg.

In fall 1940, Russ enrolled at RPI as an aeronautical engineering student. While attending RPI, Russ took flying lessons and he received his private pilot’s license shortly after the start of the World War II.

During the war he was assigned to an Army ordinance division, heavy maintenance company. Eventually he got to France in January 1945. Russ and his company repaired tanks, armored vehicles, trucks, canons, rifles, pistols, and optical equipment including gun sights and high-powered binoculars. His unit moved through France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany.

He returned home in 1945 but a final physical exam before being discharged revealed he had pleurisy and a collapsed lung, and possibly tuberculosis. He was sent to an Army hospital to recuperate. While there, Russ was one of the first to be treated with streptomycin for tuberculosis. After a few months, Russ was released from military service. In 1949, Russ underwent a series of spinal fusion surgeries to halt the spread of the disease.

In the fall of 1950, Russ was back at RPI and changed his major to mechanical engineering. In March 1951, Russ and Barbara DeGroot were married. Following his graduation, Russ took a job in Syracuse and after a year took a job for another Syracuse company that made parts for secret supersonic jet engine being built by General Electric. In 1955, Russ was hired by The Torrington Company in Torrington, Conn., where he remained until his retirement in 1973.

The Elmores raised four children, John, Susan, Nancy, and Sharon (who died in 2001). Barbara died in 2010, after which Russ made one last move to the Troy area, home of his alma mater, RPI.

Over the past decade, Russ has enjoyed making large yarn pictures of the houses of his family members, drawing lines on a nylon grid based on photographs, and framing these to present as gifts. His favorite thing is to hop onto his electric jazzy wheelchair a few times a day to zip down the halls and go outside for a breath of fresh air. Even at 100 years of age, Russ stays in regular contact with his children and family via email.