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West Columbia veteran celebrates 100th birthday

Leonard Coward was extremely excited to see family and friends to celebrate his 100th birthday.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — After months of anticipation, Leonard Coward's 100th birthday finally arrived on Saturday.

"He's been excited about it since we started planning six months ago," Debby Sullivan, his daughter, said.

With his 100th birthday shirt on and wheelchair rolled to the window, Coward watched as family and friends, masked and at a distance due to COVID-19, shared well wishes.

"Seems like I know everybody," Coward said.

He waved and said hello from his seat with his smile ear-to-ear, as balloons wagged in the wind outside. 

"I don't feel like I'm 100; I'm 50," Coward said, laughing.

Over the last 100 years, Coward has seen a lot of change and COVID-19 is no different.

Credit: Kayland Hagwood
Leonard Coward visits with loved ones.

His daughters said he spent time in the Navy before growing a family and moving to West Columbia where he started a business repairing TVs.

Despite his celebration being a different one, he still had all the things to make it special like cake, balloons and the happy birthday song.

Credit: Sarah Socvik, Family photos
Leonard Coward in his youth.

With a father full of joy and a crowd of loved ones there to celebrate, Sullivan, who also helped plan the party, wondered how they would top it next year.

Credit: Kayland Hagwood
Family gather to celebrate Leonard Coward

"Oh, I don't know, start planning tomorrow," she laughed. "Hopefully, we'll be able to see and touch next year."

Sullivan said they brought extra cake so Coward could continue the festivities with his friends at his senior living facility.