West Texas family celebrates 104th birthday through window at nursing home

Odee Kemp turns 104

POST, Texas (KCBD) - Birthdays can be a joyous occasion for people as friends and family gather to celebrate the life of someone turning another year older.

This year, Odee Kemp’s birthday is just a little different. She turns 104 today, April 7. She is celebrating, but is doing so without her friends and family in the room with her.

The nursing home staff made her a birthday cake and was able to give it to her as family members visited her through her window.
The nursing home staff made her a birthday cake and was able to give it to her as family members visited her through her window. (Source: Post Nursing Home and Rehab Center)

The mandate from the Texas Governor Greg Abbott states all visitation to nursing homes is not allowed, to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

The Post Nursing Home & Rehabilitation Center took it upon themselves to decorate Odee’s room for her. They made her a celebratory shirt, and even baked her a cake. Thanks to Activity Director Amber Hernandez and Lacee White assistant for the photos, video and information.

Her son Johnny and daughter Beth come to visit her through the window in her room, and talk to her on the phone.

Odee loves hamburgers and eats onion and jalapenos with all of her meals. She also loves to listen to her audio bible.

Anyone who would like to send her birthday cards and well wishes can send them to:

  • Odee Kemp
  • 605 W 7th Street
  • Post, TX 79356

Odee’s daughter Beth says Odee has now been through two epidemics and her mother died in the first one on Christmas Day in 1918. Odee was 2 years old in 1918 when a Worldwide influenza epidemic struck. Within two years, nearly 20 million were killed and 500,000 of those were in the U.S. The second epidemic was the Spanish Flu. The Spanish flu was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic. Lasting from January 1918 to December 1920, it infected 500 million people – about a quarter of the world’s population at the time.

Here are a few things she has lived through in her 104 years:

  • Women gained rights in 1920
  • Prohibition of alcohol 1924
  • 1927 Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in his plane.
  • The Great Depression 1930
  • 1931 The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the national anthem
  • Prohibition ended 1933
  • The Dust Bowl 1935
  • 1939– 1945 World War II: U.S. declares its neutrality in European conflict
  • The Holocaust 1940
  • Pearl Harbor 1941
  • Prohibition ended 1933
  • The Dust Bowl 1935
  • 1950– 1953 Korean War
  • 1950– 1975 Vietnam War
  • First Man in Space 1961

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