Article and photos by Mary Alice Murphy (unless otherwise noted)

Ilo Louck, who lives with her son, Jerry and daughter-in-law Susan, celebrated her 108th birthday, which was Nov. 5, 2022, Saturday at home and Sunday at Cross Point Church with luncheon and cake.

"I could talk for hours about my mom," son Jerry said. "She was born in 1914,  and was one of 10 children in a house without running water, without electricity, no phone, and no indoor plumbing. During her life, her grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins lived with the family and with us. I love her so much. She continues to encourage me still."

He said when she was 5 years old, the doughboys marched down the road after returning from World War I. "They offered her and her brothers and sisters bologna sandwiches. They had never had bologna before. She graduated high school in 1933. She had one dress that she wore. Her mom cooked bread and other baked goods daily on a wood stove. I miss this church. I wish I had more time to come and be with you all."

He showed several photos they had set up on a table, including one of Ilo at age 31, a photo of her husband, as well as one of them together, and a photo of her daughter, Jerry's sister ,who died young and a young photo of Jerry. Included on the table were two small paintings that Ilo had created in her 60s.

"We've moved all over the place," Jerry said. "We've probably lived in 40 staes. We haven't lived in New England, Idaho or Louisiana. I want to thank Jesus for all he's done for me all my life."

"I appreciate all of you being here today," Ilo said. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have gotten out of the house. God bless all of you."

Ito's neighbor, Lauris Goll, said that Ilo had told her she was 10 before she ever had a birthday cake. Her mom was busy taking care of 10 children, while teaching children using slates to write. "Ilo told me they went to school in covered wagons, before there were school buses."

Ilo said: "Our house burned down. I was one of the six children at that time. We didn't have anyone to help us, But my parents managed to rebuild. The old school I used to attend is now a nursing home."

Cross Point Church Tim Heyer said: "We live as long as our Lord wants us to. Today we celebrate Ito's longevity."

Heyer told the Beat that Kelly Green and Dave Trombly has made the food, which was Sloppy Joes, because that was Ito's favorite food. 

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