One Vermonter is coming up on a big birthday. He’s a World War II Vet, and he’s turning not 90, not 100…but 107.
Lenny Roberge is, in fact, Vermont’s most senior war vet. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1945. Friday afternoon, he was the man of the hour, as friends and family at Harbor Village Senior Communities gathered for a little celebration before the big day.
“Here we go,” said Lenny. A phrase he says often and perhaps lives by.
“He’s got an incredible will to live. Just enjoys life, never meets a stranger and I think his attitude says it all. We just happen to call him Dad,” said Ed Roberge, Lenny’s son.
At his own birthday party, Lenny got up from his chair, joined the pianist, and sang to the crowd.
“I have the distinction of being the oldest service man in Vermont, but there are so many others that should have the same honor…I’m just plain lucky to be here at this time,” he said.
The war vet and survivor of not one but two pandemics says he’s lucky to have his children by his side.
“I am the most grateful father of having three so-called children who are now adults that take care of papa…I am very fortunate to have them because we are all compatible and that’s the most important thing for a family to have. Compatible family to love each other.”
Lenny’s daughter Lucille Nadeau lives just 3.5 miles away while her brother, Ed, and sister, Joan, live in Texas and Colorado, respectively. Lenny’s children came in to celebrate another milestone birthday and say they’re grateful to see their father in good spirits and health.
“He’s still enjoying every day and that’s the key: a positive attitude. A grateful attitude and he still just loves life,” said Lucille.
Lenny’s friends and care givers say for 107, he’s independent and still sharp as a tack.
“The most important thing of living is keep breathing. Retain a sense of humor because you are in better conditions when you laugh than when you cry,” said Lenny.
When asked how he feels about turning 107, he answered with a grin.
“It means that I’m still alive by God’s grace.”