To the editor:
Today is a day to observe with joy and gratitude. My uncle, Tom Beadles of Cape Girardeau and Cairo, Ill., turns 99 today. Tom has been a leader in both communities all his life, but even more precious to me is his leadership in our family. Tom Beadles was the guiding hand that helped create Vandivort Properties, a third-generation family farming corporation rooted in Southeast Missouri.
It is because of the foresight of Tom Beadles and his generation that over 100 Vandivort family members gather each year in Cape Girardeau on the Fourth of July to celebrate their heritage during a family reunion.
On behalf of our family, I say thank you to Tom. He has been an inspiration to his family and his community.
HARRIETT STEIN SMITH, Carmel, Ind.