Sebastian "Busty" Ventura, of Jamestown, is celebrating his 100th birthday on Friday. He has been married to Susan Waterson Ventura for 34 years.
Ventura has raised eight children. This year, he continued to tend to his vegetable garden, mow the lawn, build furniture, give advice, and keep up with news and sports. He goes to his grandkids' ball games and band performances and is an active member of St. James Church. He still loves to hunt and be in the woods, though he will tell you his body can't do nearly what it used to.
Born in Tortorici, Italy, Ventura arrived in America in 1930. He obtained a job working at Maddox Table Co. where he became foreman and remained a valued employee for 50 years. He married Frances Franchina Ventura in 1939, and they were together for 33 years until her death.
Ventura was a volunteer firefighter of the Kiantone Fire Co., founder of the Chautauqua County Bird Dog Association and a past member of the Falconer Rod & Gun Club. He is well known in the Northeast in the bird dog circuit for not only competing in field trials, but later judging and reporting on them for the American Field Magazine.
He has received a signed baseball from the New York Yankees, some Fenway Park turf and a piece of lava from Mount Etna, as well as warm wishes from the governor of New York.
He was recently honored with a surprise party by family and friends.