ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — A little pandemic couldn’t keep friends and family of Mike Rose II from celebrating his 90th birthday on Wednesday evening.
Rose, looking not a day over 65, smiled brightly as a fire truck and a sheriff’s deputy led a parade of more than 20 vehicles by his home on Aberdeen Avenue.
“We would have had a big party for him but this silly virus,” said Lori Benjamin, Rose’s daughter. She said her siblings organized the event with her and they staged all the cars at Mount Carmel Church on Columbus Avenue before the drive to his home.
“A lot of friends,” Benjamin said of the crew.
Tina Graebing joined the procession when relatives posted the event on Facebook. She said she was visiting family from her home near Steubenville.
“We wanted to be a part of it,” Graebing said.
“Hi Uncle Mike, yelled one relative from the sunroof of a car as they passed in front of his home with the property all decorated to celebrate the 90th birthday.
Rose apparently has good blood lines as Benjamin said his sister Margaret Mello is 103. He said he was born and raised in Ashtabula and has lived in two houses — one on East 15th Street and his present home on Aberdeen Avenue.
Rose said he worked for Rockwell Brake Company for 40 years and was a plant supervisor in Ashtabula until the company closed.
Benjamin and family also put out a request for birthday cards from family and friends with hopes of getting at least 90. Mission accomplished as Benjamin said 97 cards were received.