woman sitting at a table in celebratory surroundings

Morning Pointe of Chattanooga celebrated resident Halie Forstner’s 110th birthday with a parade, a large, pink cake, 110 pink balloons and 110 bottles of her favorite drink, Coca-Cola.

Forstner has been an assisted living resident since earlier this year.

“I am so excited about my birthday, and I just appreciate everything that everybody has done for me to help celebrate it,” she said.

During lunch, Morning Pointe Senior Living founders Greg A. Vital and Franklin Farrow presented Forstner with proclamations from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty. Vital and Farrow also presented her with a certificate acknowledging her special age and lifetime accomplishments.

After lunch, a parade through the portico featured clowns, antique cars, friends from Lookout Valley Presbyterian Church and bagpipers from Alhambra Shriners Highlander Pipes and Drums.

“Halie has lived through some incredible life events,” Morning Pointe of Chattanooga Executive Director Cody Harvey said. “Two pandemics, two world wars, the advent of the internet and so much more. She’s an inspiration to all of us on how to age gracefully and is still quite active at 110!”

A medal for mettle

man displaying military medal
Elmer Blair, a 102-year-old independent living resident of the Cypress Cove continuing care retirement community in South Fort Myers, FL, shows the Bronze Star he recently received for actions during World War II.

Meanwhile, in Fort Myers, FL, 102-year-old Cypress Cove resident Elmer Blair recently celebrated his newly received Bronze Star medal, which recognizes his efforts in leading his Army platoon safely away from an attack by a German tank in 1944 during World War II.

“I guess I never realized how much it meant to me,” the independent living resident said of the medal.

Blair received the medal through the mail after assistance from his daughter, Debby, who helped locate required service records and discharge papers, and then U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney.

“I am a very proud retired Army officer,” he stated in a letter seeking the medal. “I was told at one time I would be awarded a Bronze Star for actions during combat, but it never happened.”

Blair’s service in the war came after he worked in the coal mines of West Virginia with his father. After the war, he returned home with no intention of re-enlisting, but the Army offered an incentive package, and he ended up serving another 16 years. He married, and he and family would call nine different locations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia home before he retired.

Along the way, Blair obtained a degree in health and physical education using the GI Bill. He became the first civilian athletic director of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell on the Tennessee–Kentucky border, a position he held for 10 years.

Blair would add another 12 years, and eight moves, serving in Asia and Europe. For a time, he was recreation director for all European military installations. He retired as a major.

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