Flower Mound celebrates centenarian

A biochemist who celebrated his 100th birthday in Flower Mound June 26th attributed his long life to “designer genes,” while also noting that he spent his life arriving at logical conclusions.

Leland Mebine said he had looked forward to his hundredth birthday for a long time, and the much anticipated day was spent with friends and family, marked by parties given by the Cross Timbers Family YMCA and the Flower Mound Rotary Club, and noted by proclamations from United States Senators, Denton County Commissioners and The Town of Flower Mound, among others.

The day started with a celebration at the local Y, where Mebine has been a member since 1992 and still works out several times a week.

Cross Timbers Family YMCA Executive Director Jason Walter said Mebine represents how a truly wonderful life can be lived. “From his commitment to staying healthy and exercising several times a week to never meeting a stranger, Leland has experienced life like no other and serves as a guiding light as to how to make the most of it. The Cross Timbers YMCA focuses on strengthening the foundation of the community we serve just as Leland has over the years, and we are honored to be able to celebrate this milestone with him and wish him many more,” said Walter.

Flower Mound resident and YMCA member Ken King said he met Mebine in the 1980’s through town politics. Describing him as a scholar and a gentleman, King said Mebine impacted his life over the years. “He is a perfect example of what a good citizen in a community should be,” he said.

Even at 100 years old, Mebine can still be spotted around town attending weekly Rotary meetings and exercising at the Y, among other activities. Born in Sacramento, California in 1913, he has served on the Flower Mound Planning and Zoning Commission and the Town Council and has held leadership positions in the Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce, Youth and Family Services, Friends of the Flower Mound Library and the Rotary Club of Flower Mound. He also belongs to the Summit Club and the VFW.

Mebine has a reputation of getting others involved in civic activities as well, and at an evening birthday party on June 26th given by The Flower Mound Rotary Club at Salerno’s Restaurant, Rotary Member Jack Tiller said he met Mebine at church years ago and the friendship led to Mebine getting him involved in Rotary and the Friends of the Flower Mound Library. “I learned never to tell him I had free time,” Tiller wryly noted.

A love for culture and the arts is another hallmark of Mebine’s life, and Tiller told the story of how after Mebine served his country in World War II, he booked a ship for Paris and “stayed till the money ran out.” That was an experience that perhaps began his love affair with art, which continued after he and his wife married and set about collecting art in Spain.

Mary Mebine passed away about six years ago after 54 years of marriage, but their home in Flower Mound is still filled with dozens of paintings, some by well known artists and some by Mebine himself.

The Mebines moved to Flower Mound after Leland retired from NASA as a management consultant.  He has five children, five grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

One of Mebine’s mottos has been “Life gets my vote,” and if his friends and family get their vote, he will celebrate many more birthdays in Flower Mound.


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