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We covered their birthdays last year -- now a momentous year has passed, and we were back as they both turned 92

ERIC NORBERG - There were many present, but here were the guests of honor - longtime residents of Westmoreland sharing the same day and year of birth - Joan Gilbertz and Robert (Woody) Wood, celebrating at their community-presented 92nd birthday party. Last year, July 23 was on a Thursday. As reported then by Rita Leonard, two special guests of honor – Joan Gilbertz and Robert Wood – were the recipients of a neighborhood birthday celebration. The pair had lived for half a century in Westmoreland, but had never met until the 90th birthday party thrown for them by the community in 2019.

In the midst of a pandemic last year, friends and relatives gathered again to celebrate their 91st birthday, hosted at the Kruse home at S.E. Ellis and 15th Avenue. Suzanne Kruse again led the planning, and this year July 23 was on a Friday; however the party was hosted one house east – in the back yard of the recently-renovated historic home owned by Blaine Rowland and Linda Holt. That house was recently profiled in an article by Eileen Fitzsimons in THE BEE.

The party began at 6 p.m., and soon after that a substantial crowd had assembled to honor the two celebrants, and to enjoy a buffet provided by Blaine and Linda. Conversations about memories of the past and catching up on those present occupied the attention of Joan and "Woody".

Both have experienced health issues typical of those who have reached age 92, but both obviously enjoyed themselves at the celebration, and said they were already looking forwarding to a similar rendezvous on July 23 next year, when they both will be 93.


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