Local man celebrates 100 years, family celebrates outside of Bethel Manor

Local man celebrates 100 years, family celebrates outside of Bethel Manor

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A local family is celebrating a 100th birthday, but because of the coronavirus, the party isn’t like they pictured it.

Just two years before Elmer Roettger was born, the deadliest pandemic in history swept the country, the Spanish Flu.

Historians say the most important lesson we learned from that flu was containment.

“This man is only going to turn 100 once," said DJ Coomer, Elmer’s Daughter.

That’s why at the forefront of a brand new pandemic, the birthday party will go on, but with precautions, and some social distancing.

“We’re so glad to be able to celebrate his 100th birthday," said Bill Arendt, Elmer’s old neighbor. “As the neighbors know, there’s others here, we are just really rejoicing."

Bethel Manor has a no visitor’s policy right now.

With cupcakes on hand, Bethel Manor’s staff took care of Elmer inside, and his family celebrated and sang happy birthday to him outside.

“I am so happy that I can still see him. And the neighbors could still get here because they always check on him," Coomer said.

”Even at his age, being 100 years old, he can reminisce and tell you so many things, history that we wouldn’t even think of knowing," Arendt said. “It’s been wonderful being a neighbor of his."

Elmer’s family says once everything has gone back to normal, they plan on having a bigger celebration with family and friends.

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