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Denver woman receives more than 400 cards wishing her a happy 108th birthday

Gertie Abkes asked for 108 birthday cards to be delivered to her mailbox to mark the special occasion.

DENVER — Ask Gertie Abkes if she wants anything special for her 108th birthday and the answer will be snail mail. 

The Denver woman celebrated her 108th rotation around the sun on Tuesday and she made a rather unique request -- to receive 108 birthday cards delivered to her mailbox.

And hundreds of people heard her request loud and clear. As of Tuesday, Abkes has received over 400 birthday cards delivered by the postman and they continue to arrive. 

Abkes' talked with 9NEWS about her life philosophy and it's simple. 

"I believe you shouldn’t get into hate. Treat everyone the same and love everyone -- I love all people,” she said.

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Abkes was born in 1912 when Howard Taft was president and suffragettes were picketing for women’s right to vote, according to Chuck Montera with the Clermont Park Life Plan Community in Denver, where she lives now. She was born four months after the Titanic sank and survived through two pandemics including the Spanish Flu of 1918 and the current COVID-19 pandemic.    

She grew up in Iowa and worked at her father’s grocery store during the Great Depression, Montera said. That job kept her from finishing high school where she was a basketball standout. 

Abkes met her husband Leonard at the end of the Depression. They packed their bags and headed to Denver in 1942, where Montera said Abkes attended nursing school and worked at Rose Hospital. 

Family and friends who know Abkes said she puts the "great" in the "Greatest Generation" of WWII and admire her strong sense of humor.  

The 108 year old is now a resident of Denver's Clermont Park Life Plan Community where you will find her cheering on her favorite team - the Denver Broncos.


Gertie Abkes
Clermont Park Life Plan Community
2479 S. Clermont St.
Denver, CO 80222.

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