Celebrating Her 100th Birthday Amid The Pandemic: Evelyn Stortenbecker

Evelyn Stortenbecker had been looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday for as long as anyone can remember.
"She's been wanting this 100th birthday for quite a while," Lynn, Evelyn's daughter-in-law, said. "When we've done every birthday, she'd say 'Oh, I'll wait and do that on my 100th.'"
Now, the big day has finally come, but the EveryStep Hospice patient wasn't able to celebrate with the big blowout she's hoped for.
Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Evelyn's family to rethink their celebration.
"She wanted a big dinner and band, a big blowout," daughter-in-law Lynn said. "All we're going to get to have is seeing her from the window."
Evelyn resides at Oakland Manor, a long-term care facility. With precautions in place, visitors aren't allowed inside the facility, and residents aren't allowed outside.
Additionally, Evelyn, who until August resided in Oakland Manor's assisted living section, recently tested positive for COVID-19 herself.
Though she didn't show many symptoms and has since tested negative, Lynn says the virus, and pandemic as a whole, has taken a toll on Evelyn.
Used to a more social lifestyle, visiting her family and going out to dinner and other gatherings, Evelyn hasn't left the facility since the spring.
With that in mind, the family wanted to make sure her refashioned 100th birthday celebration lifted her spirits.  
On Saturday, Sept. 5, nearly 30 family members descended upon Oakland Manor to wish Evelyn a happy birthday with her favorite treat: carrot cake.
In addition to Evelyn's personal carrot cake dessert, EveryStep Foundation's Quality of Life program provided cupcakes and flowers for the event.
On her actual birthday, Sept. 7, a smaller group of family members once again joined Evelyn, this time with an accordion player.
"She loves polka music," Lynn said, adding that the long-time Minden and then Treynor resident also loves sewing and visiting with her five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

You, too, can contribute to EveryStep’s Quality of Life program by supporting the EveryStep Foundation. For more information on the EveryStep Foundation and donation options, click here.  

For more coverage of Evelyn's special birthday read this story from the Daily Nonpareil.