Celebrating Life at 90

In the past 90 years, so many things have taken place: World War II, the moon landing, Beatlemania, the JFK assassination, the development of vaccines like penicillin, the Vietnam and Korean Wars, the introduction of color TV, the change of music formats from records and vinyl to 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs, and mp3 files, September 11th.

The list goes on.

My grandma, Alice, who just celebrated her 90th birthday on Sunday, has experienced it all. What a milestone!

Ask me to describe her, and I’d say spunky, generous, sweet, humble, and loving, among many more positive attributes. She has been there for her family, myself included, more times than I probably know about and doesn’t hesitate to help if she can. She’s held strong through the death of her husband. She never wants to stop going, even if exhaustion or physical pain gives her no choice. She loves her Detroit Red Wings hockey, black licorice, and newspaper or magazine crossword puzzles. She supports her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and doesn’t forget a birthday. She’s active in the church and well-known in the community.

To honor her, my extended family helped plan and host an event in her hometown. Photos depicting the years of her life were prominently displayed, sweets lined a large table, and my relatives from near and far made it a point to be there for the big day. In addition, dozens of her friends showed up to congratulate her and return the love she’s given.

She looked so happy, and I hope she knows how happy she’s made each one of us. I’m very blessed to still have her and call her Grandma.


— Photos by Justin McKee —

About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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7 Responses to Celebrating Life at 90

  1. ChrisP says:

    Graaaaaammmmmmyyyyyy! So may rock-stars have this bloodline. The puddle jumper, crazy car rides, Fred is having a tiny bit of dessert, kitty finding/petting, uncle wiggly or that damn kerplunk, frozen nutty bars, guaranteed ice cream in the freezer, you will drink the milk you poured on your cereal, cake with no frosting, someone to dry the dishes, lovingly stated pessimism (haha), wind machine grandson (snake oil), miniature authors (physical size! not quality of writing…don’t judge me)….smaaaalllll. ME!

    • Grammy says:

      ChrisP ~ what a memory you have! Just wish we were able to be together more often to make more of them. Often wonder how the rocking chair is holding up or do you just keep a new one on order – in case? You helped revive my memory some thanx a bunch. Love you.

  2. Pam (Burgett) Schad says:

    My grandmother lived across the street and Alice was such a great neighbor. She was always so nice. She still looks the same as the last time I saw her. Your family is blessed to have her.

  3. Gramma says:

    Karin Your kind words brought tears of joy just thinking bout all that has happened in my life, including the not too nice things few and far between among all the many many blessings. All the family from my Eberlein family, Grandpa Fred and his family and then Gayle, Gordon, Kay, Stacey and Kimberly down through 14 grandkids, before year end 14 greats, along w/the other family members picked up over the years are very important to my life but where did the time go? I love all and know that God is good ~~~ all the time. gma

  4. Nicole says:

    It was so much fun to be there and see how many people had such wonderful things to share about Grandma! She continues to lead an amazing life and is a fabulous role model to me and my children.

  5. Joanne Hess Kitzman says:

    Belated happy birthday, Alice!! Nice to see you looking so good. We moved away to Essexville in 1963 for Eds work. you knew us then so you might remember me. I wish you many more happy birthdays!

  6. Jim Gardner says:

    Dear Alice,So nice to see your picture posted and hear of your wonderful birthday celebration.I vividly recall you and Fred and the kindness you spread over all the neighborhood.I believe we all miss those days. Love,Jimmy Gardner

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