A lifelong Lockportian will mark her 100th year on Thursday and the community is invited to celebrate the milestone with her, from a distance, of course.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages, the family of Mary Bennett Wintersteen have had to postpone her open-house style birthday party at Lockport Rehab and Health Care.
A statement from the family reads:
"April 2, 2020 is going to be a very special day for the Wintersteen family of Cassadaga. Bruce, Doug and Pete's mom is turning 100 and a big party is planned. There is one problem — no one can attend due to current restrictions. Therefore, the party is on hold.
"President Trump was invited, but he was busy. Al (Roker) will announce it on NBC. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills were called (as she is an avid Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan) and Lockport, NY where Grandma Mary lives, will celebrate.
"Because it is still a very important day, if you want to send a card, the address is: Mary Wintersteen, c/o Lockport Health & Rehab Center, 909 Lincoln Avenue."
Mary and her husband, Charles (who prefers to be called "Dave") reside together at the adult care facility.
Said son Pete of his mom in a Monday telephone interview, "My two brothers and I, we all grew up on Akron Street, actually right around the corner from her now. ... She's mostly into reading, and that kind of thing. Reads a lot of books." Mary likes playing bridge, too, he said.
Mary knows why her birthday party has been postponed. According to Pete, she doesn't think about it much; at her age, "nothing really bothers you," he said.
Pete isn't exactly sure what his mom's birthday wishes are, but if he had to guess, he thinks it would be for the good health of her three sons, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
"To have family safe and sound," he said. "Family's the most important thing."