Jack Barron, who still lives in his home on Shelbyville Street in Center, will turn 100 years old on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Barron was born Oct. 6, 1912 in Center to Claude and Kate McLendon Barron. Jack Barron’s wife was Mae Walling, to whom he was married for 72 years before her death in 2008.
“Marrying my wife was the best decision of my life,” Barron stated. “She was a wonderful person, and I loved her to death. Our children never heard us raise our voices to each other. Those 72 years were the happiest years of my life.”
Barron graduated from Center High School in 1929, which is Mattie McLendon Dellinger’s graduation date, as well (the two are cousins). After high school graduation Barron attended Texas A&M, where he was a member of the Corps. He graduated from A&M with a degree in Civil Engineering.
When Jack and Mae Walling Barron married in 1935, Jack was employed as an engineer with the Texas Highway Department, where he remained until 1940, when he joined his father in establishing the Center Builders Supply Company . Jack continued operating the business after his father’s retirement, until 1986.
Mae Walling Barron also graduated from Center High School and from Stephen F. Austin University with a B.A. degree and teaching certification. She taught school in Center, retiring after 38 years.
Jack Barron credits his wife with allowing him to remain living at home comfortably to this day.
“Mae was very thrifty and a good manager,” he said. “We lived on my income all the years we worked and saved hers. I then invested the money and am now living on the income from those investments.”
The Barrons were the parents of two children – Jack Walling Barron, who passed away in 1966 and Polly Barron Smith, who with her husband, Larry, live in her grandparents’ house behind her father.
Happy 100th birthday on Saturday, Mr. Jack, and many more!