By: Rachel Leshinsky—
Muncie, IN—Muncie Mall, East Central Indiana’s family-friendly shopping destination, celebrated the 100th birthday of Ernest “Ernie” Whaley, a long-time resident of Muncie and dedicated mall walker for more than 35 years.
Friends and family, including his son Gene Whaley and daughter Pam Hartley, gathered at the mall to sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy cake and refreshments to commemorate Whaley’s milestone.
Amanda Stickann, marketing director of Muncie Mall, presented Whaley with a special birthday gift which was a dedicated parking space at the mall.
“Muncie Mall values our mall walkers like Ernie who join us every morning to exercise in a comfortable, climate-controlled environment,” said Stickann. “It was an honor for us to share Ernie’s special day with him and his loved ones.”
Whaley was born on February 13, 1917 in Kentland, Indiana. He has lived in Muncie since 1937 and was married 66 years to Ida Louise Durham before she passed away in 2007. They had four children, plus six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Whaley served in the U.S. army in the European theater from 1944 to 1946. He retired in 1981 from the Ball Brothers Glass Company after working in the machine repair department for more than 44 years. Also, he is a 70-plus year member of the Muncie Eagles.
Whaley noted that everyone keeps asking him what is the secret to living to 100 years old?
“Walking,” Whaley said. “What we do in here every single day is what is most important – walking and being active.”