The family of Bethel Grisham Killman will celebrate his centennial birthday March 17 with a huge party in his hometown of Scottsburg, Indiana. They are hoping people in his community and nationwide will send greetings his way to reverse what has been a sad year, WLKY reported.
Killman was diagnosed with a heart valve problem in April and was told by doctors he had five months to live, the television station reported. In September, his wife passed away.
"Bethel was feeling down about his prognosis last year, so I told him I would throw him a party for his 100th birthday," Steven Phillips, who dates Killman's stepdaughter, told WLKY. "I own the Hardy Café in Scottsburg, so I said I'm going to throw you a birthday party there and get you a hundred kisses on your head. And he beamed up at me and said, 'Well how much is that going to cost me?'"
No charge. Phillips said he would foot the bill.
The party will be held at Phillips' cafe at 2 p.m. March 17, WLKY reported.
Born in Kentucky, Killman enlisted in the Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, Killman told WLKY.
“The American Legion will be at the party. We’re going to pull out some old pictures and try to dig up some memories from his service,” Phillips told the television station. “It’ll be special for him.
“Killman is excited about the party and the kisses. I think it’s really kept him going.”
The family is inviting the public to send a birthday card to Killman at 966 Wilson Road, Scottsburg, IN 47170.
Kisses are optional.