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Life-long Altoona resident celebrates 105th birthday

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Altoona (WQOW) - Living to be 100 is an amazing milestone, and living past that is nothing short of incredible. That's why, for Harry Boehm's 105th birthday, his family wanted to do something special.

On Sunday, dozens of children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of Harry Boehm came together to wish him well on his birthday.

"It's wonderful that we can be here, and that Dad is still here," said Harry's son, Jerry Boehm. "It's been a long time!"

Harry, a life-long resident of Altoona, has always been active in his community, from cheering on the BluGolds and Railroaders to being a member of the Knights of Columbus, all while being a fan of all sorts of festivities the area has to offer.

"He really enjoyed those summer activities, especially the youth fair," said another one of Harry's sons, Kevin Boehm. "He grew up on a farm, so the county youth fair, where they show the cattle and horses, he would attend that every single day!"

Because large gatherings are restricted due to COVID-19, Harry's family decided to bring the party to him parade-style, with a caravan driving past his nursing home. It was all organized to show Harry they don't need to share a cake or a hug to prove just how much he means to them.

"He's the best guy I've ever met," said Harry's son-in-law, Jim Ganrude. "And he still knows what's going on in this world. He still watches the news, reads the newspaper. And he's been through two major pandemics."

To Harry, his family means the world.

"Often times you'd say, 'Well what do you attribute your longevity to?' and he'd say 'My wonderful wife Rose,'" said Jerry.

It's safe to say, the birthday cards, handmade signs and well wishes from his loved ones are more than enough to fuel his next trip around the sun.

Mary Pautsch

Mary came to News 18 in July 2019 from Sioux City, Iowa where she graduated from Morningside College with a BA in Spanish after attending Iowa State University for 3 years.

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