Rushford World War II veteran celebrates 96th birthday, overcomes COVID-19

Rushford Minnesota community gives Luther "Lupy" Myhro a socially distant celebration
Veteran Celebration Rushford
Luther "Lupy" Myhro watches his neighbors as they drive by wishing him a happy 96th birthday.

RUSHFORD, Minn. (WKBT) – A Rushford man, and World War II veteran, shares his 96th birthday on Pearl Harbor Day. His service and his resolve go far beyond his former uniform.

Monday, Americans honored those who sacrificed more than any thank you will repay.

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Screenshot of CBS News archive video of December 7, 1941, the day of Pearl Harbor during World War II.

A date Rushford’s Luther Myhro, who people know as Lupy, remembers as clear as the day he heard the news.

“We drove into town and then we heard it on the radio a little bit later,” Myhro said.

Pearl Harbor shook the world the day Myhro turned 17, also turning a corner in his life.

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Myhro’s Navy selective service system notice classification documents. (Photo by Steve Myhro)

“Then I was called up for drafting,” Myhro said.

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Luther Myhro’s Navy photo provided by Steve Myhro.

He is remarkably humble about his time spent in the Navy.

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Luther Myhro sits outside his home on a cold December Monday in Rushford, Minn.

“I was never on the front lines,” Myhro said.

The community took a pandemic-approach to wish him well.

“Dad is kind of a legend in the community everybody knows him,” Luther’s son Steve Myhro said.

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Luther’s son Steve points out who is driving by to wish Luther a happy birthday.

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Luther Myhro’s grandson wishes him a happy birthday over video chat.

A member of the Rushford Legion for 70 years, a volunteer, and a father, his service to the people who love him most could write its own story. He’s not a bad bowler either.

“Got 290 but I never got 300,” Myhro said.

His resolve was measured when he didn’t feel up to a round of golf one Saturday.

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Luther Myhro talks to his neighbors and friends about his COVID-19 experience.

“They discovered that I was touched with COVID-19,” he said.

The virus didn’t touch his lungs something his doctors say saved his life.

“At my age, the odds are not very good at making it, but I fooled ’em,” Myhro said with a smile.

COVID-19 could not stop another birthday with his family and life long friends.

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Luther Myhro’s Freedom Honor Flight guide Jerry Williams stops by to congratulate Myhro.

Myhro doesn’t know everyone, but they know him. He even got a surprise visit from Jerry Williams, his Freedom Honor Flight guide and former superintendent for the Rochester School District.

“That’s so cool he showed up that’s fun,” Steve Myhro said.

Small towns have a knack for coming up large to give a man a party like nothing he’s seen in 96 years.

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Rushford community members dropping off gifts from their cars for Luther Myhro.

Nonetheless, it’s the best party on the block.

“That’s pretty nice,” Myhro said. “I really appreciate that.”

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Signs proudly display Luther Myhro’s birthday for the community to see.

Myhro walks about a mile every day to get his strength back from the virus. He said he thinks it’s working.

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Luther Myhro’s home in Rushford, Minn.