By Travis Mounts
CLEARWATER – It was a special day on Jan. 29, as Cecil Stonehocker celebrated his 97th birthday.
Stonehocker, who was a private in the United States Army during World War II, was honored at Clearwater Nursing and Rehabilitation, where he is a resident.
In addition to cards and cakes, the Corbin native was presented with a Quilt of Valor. The quilt was made by 7-1/2 Sisters in Schulte. Patricia Becker of 7-1/2 Sisters gave the quilt to Stonehocker.
Three different people helped make the quilt. Becker said 7-1/2 Sisters has made between 25 and 30 Quilts of Valor since 2005.
“We try to do about five or six a year,” she said. It takes about 15 hours to make each quilt.
Stonehocker moved to Clearwater about two years ago.
Kathy Merchant organized Stonehocker’s party.
“I’ve helped take care of Cecil for about 12 years,” she said. Stonehocker lost his wife a few years ago and doesn’t have family.
But there were plenty of people to help celebrate his birthday, which included a cake featuring an American flag and trim in the olive green color of the Army. The dining room at the nursing home was filled with well wishers. Stonehocker also was presented with a stack of birthday cards from Clearwater area residents.