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Fairbanks WWII veteran gets a special 102nd birthday party

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:00 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A resident of the Pioneer Home in Fairbanks was treated to a special birthday on Thursday.

Urban Rahoi turned 102 years old on January 7th. The WWII veteran lives in the Pioneer Home, and because of COVID-19 has been unable to have visitors for nearly a year. To celebrate his birthday, several dozen members of the community came to the senior center to help wish Rahoi a happy birthday.

“He is a one of a kind, he is a developer in this town, he fought five missions in Africa and Europe during WWII flying B-17s, and he has got a lot of friends as you can see,” said Craig Compeau who helped organize the surprise party.

“He knows nothing about this, I think he will enjoy it though,” Compeau said.

The crowd began gathering 15 minutes before 1 p.m. and got their signs and light stick candles ready. Compeau explained the plan, “We are going to line up, they are going to wheel him out to the front of what they call the ‘Beauty Parlor’ over here, we are going to sing him ‘Happy Birthday’, their might be some fireworks, there might be an old vintage WWII plane flying over.”

Rahoi was wheeled to the window to see all of his excited friends. The staff also gave him a phone so he could hear what was going on outside. As the clock ticked past 1:02 they began singing “Happy Birthday”. Then, fireworks were lit off nearby, and Everest Air Cargo also flew a C-46 airplane over the home for one last special birthday gift.

After the celebration, some of the people came to the window to show him their signs and wave - all to wish Rahoi a special birthday.

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