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In Cockeysville area, a happy 95th birthday and a student pitches in

Emily Wayson, of Cockeysville, an engineering student, has been making face shields for frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Emily Wayson, of Cockeysville, an engineering student, has been making face shields for frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic. (Mary Cay Wayson)

April 13th marked a very special day for Jack Van Natta, of Towson, as he celebrated his 95th birthday — COVID-19 style — with a parade of honking cars filled with family members yelling and waving posters from car windows.

The Providence Volunteer Fire Department took part in the celebration, with sirens blaring and forming the head and tail of the parade down Epsom Road. The family then spread out on his lawn to sing “Happy Birthday” as well as have Jack sing a few old favorites of his own.

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Fifty-six years ago, Jack and his wife, Barbara, moved here from Chicago, with their first eight children in tow and No. 9 to follow at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Jack worked for Western Electric and settled his family in Campus Hills.

He continues to amaze his family and neighbors as he mows and cares for his quarter-acre, hilly yard.

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The golfers in two leagues at Fox Hollow try to keep up with him. Just last year, he had a round in which he shot under his age!

Jack is looking forward to salvaging some of the golf season as well as getting back to Mass at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Jack and his late wife have inspired and continue to inspire three generations — the nine children, 24 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren — of the Van Natta legacy including son Mark Van Natta and his family — wife, Lynn, and children Nicole, Julia and Danny — who are longtime residents of Springdale. Wishing Jack a wonderful 95th year and many more!

Our neighbors continue to rise to the occasion during these crazy times by working on behalf of others. Emily Wayson, of Cockeysville, a University of Maryland freshman engineering student, has been hard at work producing plastic face shields for frontline workers.

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Despite an abrupt return home from college, Emily is putting her engineering skills to work to make the shields. She borrowed a 3-D printer from her alma mater, Notre Dame Prep and, using an approved digital template from a fellow UMD classmate, Emily quickly started producing the face shields.

Her first batch of 50 shields were sent to New York for use by a police department and grocery store employees.

Locally, Emily has sent the protective shield to Catholic Charities for use as an extra layer of protection for frontline workers at Our Daily Bread, Maryland’s largest hot meal program, which serves more than a quarter million meals each year to those experiencing hunger in Baltimore City.

Our Daily Bread relies on community donations, especially from local Catholic churches like St Joseph’s in Cockeysville. With the shutdown, several families from the St Joesph’s community are stepping up to facilitate the delivery of frozen casseroles and more than 1,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, along with other snacks and bottles of water.

Since June 1, 1981, Our Daily Bread has never missed a day of lunch service, despite blizzards, hurricanes or any other occurrence.

Thanks to folks like the Baird family, the Sullivan family and the Bogdanowicz family, they are continuing to serve through the pandemic.

If you would like to make a donation, prepare a casserole or send supplies to Our Daily Bread, go to https://www.catholiccharities-md.org/services/our-daily-bread-hot-meal-program/# for more information.

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