Daniel E. Center Jr., in Marine uniform. Photo courtesy of Maine Veteans’ Homes – Augusta

Daniel E. Center Jr., a resident at Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta, has been named Veteran of the Month for August. He has fond memories of growing up in Vermont, skiing in the wintertime and playing baseball in the spring and summer with his brothers. As the boys grew older and Daniel was about to finish high school, one of his brothers read in the Boston paper that the Marine Corps was offering a college education to anyone who enlisted.

Daniel was 18 years old when he joined the military and he served for two years, 1943-45, during World War II, according to a news release from the Augusta veterans’ home.

After the military, he traveled to Maine to work as a bellman at the Squaw Mountain Inn in Greenville. As fate would have it, he met his future wife, Beverly Holmes, who was a chambermaid there. They married in 1950 and have five daughters: Carole, Valerie, Laurie, Marie and Diane.

Daniel E. Center Jr. Photo courtesy of Maine Veterans’ Homes – Augusta

It wasn’t long before the Marine Corps made good on its promise of an education and Daniel attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He studied history — his favorite class was about Canadian history — it was the professor’s specialty and his teaching style was rather captivating. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in arts, which he used to pursue a career in teaching.

His first job was in Vermont, where he spent a year. He then taught in New Hampshire for two years and spent 12 years in Maine teaching students in Fort Fairfield and Yarmouth. After that, the Center family moved to Connecticut where he received his principal’s certificate.

Daniel retired at the age of 60 but he wasn’t ready to stop working altogether so he opened an H&R Block franchise that he ran for four years. They eventually returned to Maine where they retired for good.

He says out of his life’s accomplishments, his five daughters are at the top of the list, especially the fact that two of them attended his alma mater, Dartmouth.

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