SMYRNA — He’s a violinist and poet, World War II veteran and great-grandfather.
Randolph T. “Fred” Faulkner is a former printing business owner, too.
And now he’ll become a centenarian upon turning 100 on Oct. 7.
The thought of reaching triple digits basically draws a shrug, however.
“I don’t worry about whether I’m 27, 37 or 47,” he said. “When people say I’m about to be 100, I don’t worry about that either.
“I guess there are a lot of people who don’t get that far.”
Besides maintaining a good diet, Mr. Faulkner said some keys to making it to 100 are “genetics and you have to just keep moving. Keep on the go and time flies.”
Mr. Faulkner said people have told him he has a very good brain, and certainly his long-term memory is intact. He can recall even minute details when recounting experiences happening more than eight decades ago.
When it comes to writing poetry, it can’t be “jingles, but the real stuff,” he said.
Born in Kenton, Mr. Faulkner grew up on several farms in the area and graduated from Smyrna High School in 1940. He attended Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, before enlisting in the United States Army on Aug. 15, 1942. Active duty came less than a month later and deployment to Great Britain followed.
Mr. Faulkner can still remember how he learned that Japan surrendered to end World War II — he was in a bunk on a train bound from Liverpool to London when a conductor knocked on the door to share the welcome news.
His service earned a marksmanship award, along with decorations including the World War II Victory Medal, European Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. An honorable discharge from active duty as a staff sergeant in 1946 completed his military career.
Moving on from the Army, Mr. Faulkner worked for the Delaware State News as a compositor for two years, followed by the News Journal Company for 28 years in a variety of roles before retiring. He also owned and operated his own printing business.
After authoring a book titled ‘‘Musical Instruments — Unusual and Unique Violins” (he played the instrument at church on Sundays at age 15), Mr. Faulkner said he’d like to pen a follow-up.
“When I look at it now, I have a lot of things I want to do,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t mind writing another book with more meat on it, so to speak.
“People like to look at pictures, though.”
One of six children, son Colin Faulkner isn’t surprised by his father’s plan to write another book.
“My dad always did things in moderation but I think the most important thing is, even though he retired from his conventional job, he never retired,” Colin Faulkner said.
“He’s always had something to look forward to. He’s worked on violins, he studies them still. He’s very much interested in the letter press process.
“He stays up on world events. He can tell you things that I don’t even know about.”
In a prophetic twist, State Sen. Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna, said after presenting Mr. Faulkner a proclamation for turning 90 that he’d see him again in 10 years.
“Here we are 10 years later. So as far as I’m concerned, we can go another 10 years, and another 10 years. I’m good with that,” Colin Faulkner said.
On Mr. Faulkner’s birthday, President Joe Biden plans to issue a written tribute for the milestone, along with the Delaware House of Representatives and Senate, Gov. John Carney, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long and Delaware’s U.S. congressional delegation.