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Logansport Leap Day twins celebrate '20th' birthday

Patrick O'Connor and Rose Ann Jones were born Feb. 29, 1940.
Twins Rose Ann Jones and Patrick O'Connor were born in Logansport on Feb. 29, 1940. (Logansport Pharos Tribune)

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WTHR) — A pair of twins born in Logansport turn 80 Saturday, but really, it's only their 20th birthday.

Patrick O'Connor and Rose Ann Jones were born Feb. 29, 1940, our news gathering partners at the Logansport Pharos Tribune report.

Having been born on Leap Day, the twins have only seen their true birthday 20 times in their lives. They've always known how rare their birthdays are. Their mother pitched stories about their birthdays every four years to newspapers.

“Probably when we were about four years old we started appearing in the paper every four years," Jones said. "It was a big deal. Especially because we’re the only twins that have been born on Leap Day in Cass County that we know of."

As children, the twins said they loved to play together — riding bikes, roller skating, and shooting marbles. They spent a lot of time at Indiana Beach.

They graduated from Logansport High School in 1958. Jones held jobs at local shops before starting a family and despite becoming legally blind in 1980, she took up photography as a hobby. She also survived ovarian cancer.

"I was stage 4 — near death — but it wasn't my time," she said. "I still can't believe I survived it."

It's been more than 25 years since overcoming the diagnosis. She met her husband in a cancer support group. They now have seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

O'Connor played baseball at St. Joseph's College and then worked in pension planning and management in Chicago. After more than 30 years in Chicago, he took a job in security in Indianapolis. That's where he got the most special assignment of his career.

"The best football player in history had just moved in and they wanted me to make sure everything was safe for him at night," O'Connor said.

That football player? Peyton Manning.

O'Connor said Manning — who he described as a nice, truthful guy — became a friend.

O'Connor is also a cancer survivor, adding another special bond to his relationship with his sister. He now lives in Noblesville with his wife. They have four grandchildren.