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Peets, Genaway oldest living member of Massena Volunteer Fire Department


MASSENA - Fred Genaway, 93, of Burlington, N.C., and Olin Peets, 91, of Massena are the two oldest living members of the Massena Volunteer Fire Department, joining shortly after high school in 1941.

“We both became real buddies in our senior year of high school and were active members in our senior plays. Olin and I were members of the Racing Team, participating all over the north country at the firemen’s conventions,” Mr. Genaway recalled.

“We both played softball on two firemen’s teams, both in the Fast Pitch County League and the Old-Timers League held at the Knights of Columbus Field,” he said.

Mr. Peets served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the European Theater, and Mr. Genaway served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater. They were both married shortly after their discharge, Mr. Peets to Peggy War and Mr. Genaway to Carrie Mize, a popular singer from Burlington, N.C.

A few years later, Mr. Genaway became commander of American Legion Post 79, and Mr. Peets became commander shortly after that.

In July 1976, Mr. Genaway moved his family to his wife’s hometown, where they still reside. His daughter, Karen Oothoudt, lives in Georgia and his son lives in North Carolina.

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