One can always find a reason to have a party, but what better reason than a special birthday for a special person. That special person is former Brookfield resident Betty Niemoth, who celebrated her 93rd birthday at a surprise party hosted by longtime friend Marie Duffek. 

Duffek had the birthday girl believing she was coming to Duffeks’ house for a visit. Niemoth would be bringing with her son Jay, who resides in Colorado and had come to help his mom celebrate her birthday. 

While the three were in the kitchen of Duffek’s house, Niemoth was unaware that guests were assembling in the living room. At some point Duffek suggested they go into the living room, where Betty Niemoth was greeted with a hearty, “Surprise!” 

Assembled in the room were 25 friends, former neighbors and friends from her church. Niemoth was a longtime resident of the Hollywood section of Brookfield and now resides at Plymouth Place in LaGrange Park, but she keeps in close contact with her former friends. 

An active person, she belonged to the Hollywood Presbyterian Church, which no longer exists, but now belongs to the Christ Presbyterian Church in North Riverside. At one time she was involved with the Berwyn Women’s Garden Club but now has found new interests at Plymouth Place, including being part of a book club and belonging to a knitting group. She likes to stay involved, which helps keep her young.

The birthday girl was surprised and pleased as her guests enjoyed cake and coffee and was heard to say, “I have never had anything like this happen before.” For Marie Duffek it was a way to let her friend know what a special person she is to her and always has been since the two were neighbors. 

Joe Stejskal, who has been termed somewhat of a historian of the area, is still talking about the good time all had at Betty’s birthday, as is Betty, who had lots to tell her friends at Plymouth Place. Though comfortable at her new home, she still likes to return to Hollywood and drive around the neighborhood. 

One could say that one of the treasures of a long life are the friends we gather along the way, and Betty Niemoth has gathered many treasures in the form of long-lasting friendships. Here’s to you, Betty and many more.