Northlake House, a memory care community in Huntersville, NC, was decorated in red, white, and blue on Tuesday to ceremoniously salute a special resident who marked a big milestone. Andy Tomsho, a veteran who served in World War II and the Korean War, turned 100 years old and was celebrated by Northlake House staff, residents, and The American Legion Post 321 of Huntersville.
Andy was also celebrated by some very special guests at the celebration held Tuesday in his honor.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Andy hasn't been able to see his two daughters, Elaine and Rita, in-person since November 2019. Neither daughters are local to the Charlotte area, so phone calls, Zoom and FaceTime became the family members' main form of communication. Andy could only see his son, Andy Tomsho Jr., of Charlotte, via window visits at Northlake House. However, thanks to vaccination and safety efforts, the Tomsho family was able to gather in-person for the first time in over a year to celebrate Andy's Centennial birthday.
"It's good to be around the people you love," Andy said. "I'm happy they're here."
Andy's family traveled from coastal North Carolina and Pennsylvania to be with their loved one on Tuesday, May 25. Each family member even wore a military-style hat made specifically for Andy's celebration that read "Cheers to 100 years" across the front.
“He always told us growing up that he was going to live to be 100 years old,” said Andy’s daughter, Elaine Postawa. “I never had a doubt in my mind, and here we are today.”
During his 100 years, Andy became a decorated war veteran. He served in the U.S. Navy during both World War II and the Korean War as an Electrician's Mate. During Andy's birthday celebration American Legion Post 321 of Huntersville honored the veteran with several gifts and a brief ceremony.
"We would not be able to live the life we have if it weren't for the sacrifices made by Andy," said Joe Reale with American Legion Post 321.
After being honored, Andy gathered with his family, friends, and Northlake House staff around cake and champagne for a long-awaited reunion.
"We're so happy that Andy's family could be here today to celebrate with him," said Northlake House Executive Director, Camilla Carpenter. "We love celebrating our residents, and 100 years is definitely something to celebrate, and to be able to do it while also bringing loved ones back together just makes it even more special."