Warren man celebrates 100th birthday
Walt Widmer is content.
He's got his granddaughter and daughter at his side, joining him for lunch in the home he still lives in and maintains in Warren. The following day, he'll meet up with the regulars in his weekly Thursday afternoon coffee club at Burgerville.
Today, he's got reason to celebrate. Widmer turned 100 on Wednesday, April 4.
The Warren man spent nearly his whole life in Columbia County. Moving to the county as a young boy from St. Johns, Widmer attended elementary school in Scappoose, then graduated from Scappoose High School before going on to work at the U.S. Gypsum mill. Widmer later became an Allstate insurance agent and a familiar face in the county.
He's raised his children in Scappoose, still attends Warren Community Fellowship Church — which he helped build years ago — and still lives on his own.
"They know me all over Columbia County," Widmer confirms.
His family name also rings familiar thanks to a few relatives who started Widmer Brothers Brewing — a well established craft beer company based in Portland.
The secret to reaching the century mark, and staying content?
"Keep busy," Widmer says.
When he gets around to it, he'll tend to the 100-acre property he still maintains on Cater Road.
"He has 100 acres that he's always walked around and he loves to run his chainsaw," Carol Eickmeyer, Widmer's daughter, says.
He's lived through a lot, but still retains childhood memories.
"The house I lived in, the roof blew off and I was laying in the crib," he says of his family's home, shortly before they made the move from St. Johns.
Not quite as bad as losing a roof, Eickmeyer has to inform her dad that he'll be treated to a slice of pie, not cake, during his coffee club meet-up.
Widmer doesn't complain.
"That's alright. I'll take the pie," he responds.
This Saturday, Widmer will be joined by more family and friends for a party in his honor.