Marine veteran celebrates 103rd birthday
By Ashleigh Plemper
Farmer Staff Writer
Alice Witkowski, a resident at the Good Shepherd Home in Watford City, couldn’t have kicked off the month any better as she celebrated her 103rd birthday last week on Sept. 1.
“We were joking with her daughter on her birthday that we should start planning for her 103rd birthday,” laughs Kristin Rhone, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems Inc. Good Shepherd Home activity director.
While social distancing measures due to COVID-19 kept Witkowski’s party small, it still managed to be a short but very sweet celebration, Rhone says.
“Jerry Samuelson and Mark Honstein were there for the American Legion and presented her with some certificates. It was really nice,” says Bonnie Johnsrud, Alice’s daughter.
One certificate was from Gov. Doug Burgum wishing Alice a happy birthday and the other certificate was from the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, Rhone says.
“Caroline Schwartz played the piano and Pam Haugan sang, Happy Birthday, then the Marine hymn and God Bless America,” Rhone says.
As Alice became a little teary-eyed in the midst of the celebratory singing, Rhone showed Alice a photograph of herself from when she was freshly enlisted in the Marines.