What’s in the water? Pigeon Falls icon and World War II veteran celebrates 105th birthday

Reynolds Tomter's personality sticks with everyone he meets, and Pigeon Falls residents showed him their love on his birthday

PIGEON FALLS, Wis. (WKBT) — A Trempealeau County man will say that the years of our lives are only as good as how they’re spent. This Pigeon Falls celebrity can share more than a century of stories.

Sometimes the best way to live a life is to go with the flow.

“It’s a great, great life,” said Reynolds Tomter.

Tomter rides the wave of a town he’s called home for more than 80 years. His lifelong friend Leland Chenoweth has a word to describe this World War II veteran.

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“Positivity,” Chenoweth said. “You’ll never get an argument out of Reynolds.”

Tomter’s daughter, Julie Tomter Warner, said that personality has one limit.

“That is when the Packers are not doing well,” Tomter Warner said.

People might recognize Tomter from the golf course. News 8 Now spoke with Tomter back in 2012 as part of Jennifer Livingston’s “In Search Of…” series. He’s a welcoming soul to everyone he meets.

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“He’s the first one that shows up every morning at 7:30 for his coffee,” said Deb Dwyer, owner of the My Second Home Bar & Grill in Pigeon Falls.

Tomter takes Dwyer’s breath away.

“One time he hopped up the steps,” Dwyer said. “He’s just amazing … I have to say.”

Good health, Tomter said, is one of life’s best gifts.

“I’ve been that lucky,” Tomter said. “Having good health.”

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It’s the best gift of all when you’ve celebrated as many birthdays as he has.

“It’s unreal,” Tomter said.

This moment leaves Reynolds without words. After all, who wouldn’t want to live out the dream of having a birthday party at the bar at 105 years old?

“We been havin’ a real party,” Tomter said.

“Boy he’s a chip off the old block you’d say,” said Helen Halverson, a friend of Tomter’s.

Halverson is also a member of the century fraternity. When you add Chenoweth to the list, there is more than 300 years of life stood side by side. Tomter credits his longevity to a good attitude.

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“If you don’t have a good attitude, you could have aches and pains almost any place,” Tomter said.

Perhaps there’s something in the water of Pigeon Creek, or maybe its the love shared between family and friends over 105 years that has carved Reynolds’ own path of least resistance.

“Everybody’s taking care of each other,” Tomter said. “We all enjoy it together.”

Reynolds is one Wisconsin’s oldest living World War II veterans.  To put his age into perspective: Tomter was born a decade before The Great Depression.

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