NEW BREMEN — Herb Boerger says there is no secret to living to 100 years old — one must take it day by day.
“To be 100 years old, I don’t have any big secret,” Boerger said. “I just get up in the morning and say, ‘The Lord let me live today.’ I try to do what’s right to all my friends and neighbors and thank the Lord for every day.”
Boerger was born on June 5, 1912, the son of the late Frank and Emma Boerger. He and his 13 siblings grew up on the family farm near Fort Loramie. Five of his siblings survive — Dorothy Wolf, 101, Ralph Boerger, 93, Chris Thieman, 90, Mary Francis, 85, and Ruth Dabbelt, 83. He enjoyed 60 years of marriage with his wife, Alma, before she passed away several years ago. The two had five children, Carol Bucklew, Velma Matuzewski, Grace Burke, Mike Boerger and Denise Greve.
“He misses our mother very much,” Bucklew said of her father.
“They were married for 60 years.”
In addition to his five children, Boerger also has 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and still enjoys spending time with his siblings, whom he sees on a regular basis.
“His brothers and sisters are very important to him,” Bucklew said. “His children are very important to him, too.”
Boerger was a farmer but also had a stint as a semi-professional baseball player and still enjoys the sport.
“He played semi-professional baseball for the Fort Loramie Athletics, and he’s a Cincinnati Reds fan,” Bucklew said. “Baseball is still one of his favorite pastimes.”
In his life, Boerger has always been accepting of change, Bucklew said.
“His secret to life that he has taught me is when change comes, you have to accept it,” she said.
“He has done that extremely well … He has really accepted the things that happen.”
Boerger celebrated his 100th birthday Tuesday afternoon with an open house at Elmwood Assisted Living in New Bremen, where he has been a resident for the past year. Family and friends gathered at the open house to celebrate the occasion, entertained by magic tricks and balloon animals by Ruffles the Clown while they enjoyed a selection of chips, crackers, cheese and drinks.
Boerger expressed his excitement for his drink of choice, Mountain Dew. He also enjoyed a special birthday serenade from Ben Hemmelgarn.
Boerger thanked those in attendance.
“I’m glad you’ve all came, and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “Thank you all.”
Attendees also enjoyed a birthday cake and ice cream after Boerger blew out his candles. When asked if he wished for “many, many more years,” Boerger’s answer was simple.
“I’ll go one day at a time,” he said.