Chillicothe man turns 100, his family celebrates while maintaining social distance

Local News

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD)–A Chillicothe man turned an even 100-years-old on Saturday and despite COVID-19 his family made sure his milestone birthday wasn’t forgotten.

Despite the wet, dreary weather Glenn Oertley’s family made sure to brighten his day on his 100th birthday. Although they couldn’t go inside his retirement home, there was still a lot of love outside.

Kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids celebrated Glenn Oertley’s 100th birthday Saturday while maintaining a social distance.

“We had big celebrations planned. We had people coming in from as far away as Montana and Tennesee and Florida. And we were all going to get together, all of us,” said Oertley’s granddaughter, Annie Kantz.

Due to COVID-19 and making sure Glenn and his family themselves were healthy, the family had to improvise their plans a bit.

“I still think it’s great that we’re able to come out and see us and celebrate with the folks inside and just with us for a little bit, even if it’s not what we exactly wanted to do,” said Oertley’s grandson, Erik Varness.

“We’re making the best of it and like he said the safety of our family is the most important thing,” Kantz said.

Two of his grandkids, Erik and Annie say their grandpa Glenn is a family man.

“No matter what was happening in any of our lives, Grandma and Grandpa’s house was home,” Kantz said.

“As I’ve grown older, I’ve just become more appreciative of the value he places on family and being able to gather together,” Varness said.

“We’ve worked, we loved. We’ve had great lives because we had a great example,” Kantz said.

Annie and Erik, both from the Peoria area say they see their grandpa as much as they can, but are now primarily keeping in touch by email.

Despite their plans being changed a bit, Glenn’s family says it was still good to see him, even if it was for a few minutes. And they did FaceTime with him a little bit after the celebration at his retirement home.

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