John Gertz still singing after all these years

by: CLIFF NEWELL - 'Isn't he the cutest thing?' asks Cynthia Barr of John Gertz. Barr recently threw a 101st birthday party for Gertz.John Gertz was having such a good time at his 101st birthday party that he had to sing.

Just as his party was breaking up, Gertz broke into some tunes that soon had some teens, also lunching at Lake Oswego Creamery, singing along with him.

It was a case of letting the good times roll. Gertz had a cheeseburger and a bowl of ice cream and was wearing his cowboy hat to celebrate the occasion. Just a song was needed to make his special day complete.

“He knows the words to every song,” said Cynthia Barr, owner of Riverview Adult Care LLC, the senior living home where Gertz resides. “When he forgets the words, he makes up his own song.”

When you are still singing at age 101 you must be doing something right. Singing comes naturally to Gertz since his mother and father were both singers. Other keys to Gertz’s longevity are said to be beer and vanilla ice cream.

Gertz has done a lot of things since he was born in 1911. The best thing he ever did was marry the lovely blonde Stella. She has passed on, and so has one of their sons. But their other son, John Jr., lives nearby in the First Addition neighborhood, which can even be spotted from the lovely view at Riverview. John comes over often to see his dad and give him gifts. The latest is a cap that says, “101 and still kicking.”

Gertz is by the far the earliest riser at the home. He has an early breakfast, then has another breakfast later when the other four residents get up. Gertz is a useful and jolly guy to have around. He makes his bed every day (a quick inspection shows he does an excellent job) and he loves to dance. If Barr’s home had a talent show every night, Gertz is ready. Being 101 was never so fun.

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