Gilman woman receives hundreds of cards to usher in 90th birthday

When it comes to birthdays—one can only hope to celebrate with phone calls from loved ones, well wishes from friends and perhaps a birthday card or two from the neighbor down the road. Well, now one Taylor Co. woman has just raised the birthday bar.
90-year-old Gerry Kleppetsch admiring her 232 birthday cards (and counting) carefully hung up...
90-year-old Gerry Kleppetsch admiring her 232 birthday cards (and counting) carefully hung up and placed around her Gilman home from friends, family, and perfect strangers.(weau)
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 4:15 AM CDT
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GILMAN, Wis. (WEAU) -90-year-old Gerry Kleppetsch of Gilman recently celebrated her birthday in a big, big way. No frills or extravagant party–just with good old-fashioned pen and paper. One she says she’ll never forget.

“This is from my daughter Aline and she wrote in here, ‘my words are simple, but true and straight from my heart. I want you to always remember, you made a huge difference in my life,’”Kleppetsch reads.

To usher in the big 9-0 this year Gerry Kleppetsch asked for one thing.

“She said I want cards!” laughs longtime friend Kim Dachel.

And cards were what Gerry got. The original goal, devised by Dachel and Gerry’s daughter Aline, was to have 90 people send 90 cards by her birthday.

“I mean who doesn’t love to get a birthday card in the mail,” asks Dachel.

“I didn’t hear about it until I had about 35-30 cards and I said I aimed for 30,” Kleppetsch starts. “And she says you’re gonna get a lot more,” pointing and laughing at Dachel.

And she did. When word got out, the call was answered across the country.

“Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, lots from Iowa and Colorado, Nebraska,” Kleppetsch rattles off.

Within one week and in time for her birthday on February 24, Gerry received far more than 90 cards.

“Ohio, North Carolina, Florida,” Gerry laughs. “And most of those people I don’t know.”

232 perfect strangers—and counting—all helping to wish Gerry a happy birthday.

“This is from my son-and-law,” Gerry begins to read. “Bet you’d like to see this guy with just a pair of tiny boxers singing happy birthday, (opens card) precious aren’t they? I love it,” she laughs.

“I put a thank you out on Facebook saying thanks to all the people that sent her a card and then I had some people say oh can I still send her one?” Dachel recalls. “And I said sure she would love it, keep going.”

“I will never forget it,” Gerry says. “And when I take them down I’ll read them all again and put them in a box and save them.”

“She deserves to be happy,” Dachel smiles.

After all, it’s her birthday and she can cry if she wants to.

“My prayer is that you always remember my love for you and that you can feel it when I’m not there,” Gerry continues to read from her daughters card. “She always makes me cry.”


If you would also like to wish Gerry a happy 90th you can !!

You can write a birthday card and make it out to ‘Aunt Gerry’ and send it to the Gilman Post Office.


121 East Main Street

Gilman, Wisconsin, 54433

The post office will make sure she gets it!

Gerry is currently working to send as many thank-you cards as she can to the people who made her birthday one she’ll never forget.

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