ALTUS, Okla. (TNN) - Friday afternoon, a parade was held in Altus to celebrate the 99th birthday of a longtime community leader.
Robert C. Beers’ birthday is this Sunday, so a parade was held to honor him.
“He’s the oldest living retired trooper in the state of Oklahoma and Governor Stitt has proclaimed today as Bob Beers day for the State of Oklahoma,” said Jerry Don Henry, Beers’ longtime friend.
The parade took place at the Tamarack Assisted Living Center for Beers, who didn’t even know it was happening.
"I had no idea, they put it all together, not me,” Beers said.
Robert Beers joined the Oklahoma Highway Patrol as part of the 13th academy in 1953.
"In 1954, he was shot in a shootout south of Tahlequah when they had an armed robbery out of Muskogee. They took the guy into custody and he suffered from a wound to his leg,” Henry said.
Beers continued with OHP, eventually moving to Altus in 1971 and retiring in 1986 after 33 years. But, his service was far from done.
"Bob and I served on the city council here for 12 years. Very involved in the community, part of the Kiwanis Club, the First United Methodist Church, Bob is just a community man,” Henry said.
Beers’ 99th birthday is this Sunday but because of the pandemic, he can’t celebrate like he normally would. So, a parade was planned.
"His friends were out here, they had their six feet apart, our mayor that was here for years and year, Boozie McMahan, was here with him and you could tell how happy they were to be together. He had that smile on since about 11:00, he’s been smiling and waving to everybody. I think it was a shock for him,” Henry said.
As the cars just kept coming, Beers says he couldn’t believe what was happening.
"Oh Lord. It’s unbelievable. Really unbelievable,” Beers said.