DUNKIRK — Friends and relatives of Walter Rodgers were not going to let social distancing restrictions get in the way of a 100th birthday celebration. So, they brought the party outside to the nursing home where Rodgers now lives, northeast of Muncie in Dunkirk.
Walter Rodgers was born May 13, 1920, during the last year of Woodrow Wilson's presidency. Over the years, he lived in Blackford and Jay counties, working at various jobs and farming.
He served three years in the Army during WW2 and married Vivian Glascock in 1948. In the 1960's, Rodgers was a Jay County Deputy Sheriff. He also served as a Jay County Commissioner. As a 67-year member of the American Legion, Rodgers conducted 300 military funerals, according to his family.
On Wednesday, under blue skies, he sat outside Miller's Merry Manor and let the party come to him. Some antique and military vehicles drove by. A large banner with photos from Rodgers' life was displayed in front of the nursing home, hung between a pair of tractors.
Friends and relatives stopped by. They kept their distance, but didn't let the pandemic get in the way of making sure Walter Rodgers had a happy 100th!