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Saddle Brook War Veteran Honored On 100th Birthday

Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday.
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday. Photo Credit: Robert White
Bill Protze shakes the hand of Saddle Brook Mayor Robert White.
Bill Protze shakes the hand of Saddle Brook Mayor Robert White. Photo Credit: Robert White
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday.
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday. Photo Credit: Robert White
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday.
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday. Photo Credit: Robert White
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday.
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday. Photo Credit: Robert White
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday.
Bill Protze was honored at the VFW on Saturday. Photo Credit: Robert White

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. — Saddle Brook officials honored longtime resident Bill Protze on his 100th birthday during the town's 300th anniversary party at the VFW.

Saturday's event featured a birthday cake with Protze's name on it and a plaque of honor presented by Saddle Brook Mayor Robert White.

"It was an amazing thing to do," Protze's daughter Janice told Daily Voice. "My father was so happy to see so many people who were appreciative of him."

The Garfield native moved to Saddle Brook when he was 5.

He married his wife of 67 years, Anna Velebir, in 1944.

Protze, who served as a machine gunner during World War II, worked for most of his career at the Uniroyal rubber factory in Passaic and later for the Bergen County Parks Commission.

He's lived with his daughter since his wife died in 2011.

"My dad remembers when most of this town was just farmland," Janice said. "He has been here nearly all his life and it is a very important place to him."

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