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Parade of cars for Matthew Delmar’s 96th birthday scheduled for June 20

Matthew Delmar Sr. will turn 96 years old Wednesday (June 17), and the family will celebrate with a parade of cards in his honor starting at 5 p.m. June 20 near 1033 W. Procter St.

Everyone is invited to decorate their cards with balloons to celebrate the occasion.

The Port Arthur Fire and Police Departments will participate, and Mayor Thurman Bartie will issue a declaration in Delmar’s honor.

Delmar was born June 17, 1924, in New Orleans and grew up during the Great Depression. He served in the U.S. Navy.

He married Eunice Duhon in 1944 and they moved to Port Arthur to make their home, purchasing the land for his home on West Procter Street in 1950.

The Delmars have nine children, all of whom attended Lincoln High School, 21 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

Matthew Delmar worked several jobs in Port Arthur including at Sears, filling stations, a fencing company and an oil company. He was not called back to work following a strike and started his own business as a carpenter. He taught himself and became very successful and sought after, especially for his meticulous work in cabinet building.

One of his big accomplishments was being hired as a sub-contractor involved at New St. John Baptist Church in 1967.

The wood that was used to build his home was made available to him by Ransom Howard and Urban Development.

The home has been rebuilt since Hurricane Rita, but he still resides at this address where several of his children were born. He is the last surviving neighbor on the block.

His favorite pastime is fishing and spending time with his large family. He is known for having holiday gatherings that include more than 50 family members.

“We have never run out of food at these events and we always say, ‘The more the merrier!’” daughter Eva Osborne wrote in a news release.

Matthew and Eunice Delmar are Catholic and raised all their children in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, were Matthew is still a member.

Though he cannot attend services in person, he watches the Catholic Mass on EWTN each day at 2:30 p.m.

Eunice died 18 months ago after 75 years of marriage.

“Even at age 96, [Matthew’s] memory is very sharp,” Eva Osborne wrote. “His memory is so keen he even remembers his neighbors from his childhood in New Orleans. He loves to reminisce on the courtship of the love of his life, Eunice.”