Joe Smrt Celebrates 95th Birthday

Ursala and Joe Smrt

Valentine’s Day has been a special day for 95 years for a prominent Starke County resident. Joe Smrt turned 95 yesterday, and his fellow VFW members surprised him with a party at the post.

“What better comradeship could you ask for than something like this? It was a complete surprise when Ben told me they were planning something for me ” said Smrt.

Joe Smrt is well known throughout the community for promoting patriotism.

“Any chance I get, I would like to help out in that particular role. We have to keep alive such memories because time dims all memories and so it’s such a good thing to keep reminding ourselves year after year of these various experiences and many of the heroes we have, especially in the many wars we’ve gotten into.”

At his side was his wife and helpmate, Ursala, and Ted Hayes couldn’t help but add a little levity to the occasion by asking the honoree if he thought she was going to stay with such an elderly gentleman.

“I don’t know what I would do without her, Ted,” laughed Smrt. “She’s been a marvelous help. A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

Joe Smrt, Mr. Patriotism in the Kankakee Valley. A very young 95 years old on his birthday Monday.