100th birthday party set for local twin brothers
POCATELLO — Living for a century is a rare feat. Twin brothers Ralph and Boyd Henderson have met a milestone that’s rarer still.
Friends and family will host a 100th birthday celebration for the brothers on Thursday, the brothers’ birthday, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pocatello West Stake Center, 3444 Hawthorne Road in Pocatello. The party is open to the public.
Family members say the brothers are both World War II Army veterans who have been staples of Pocatello for decades. Since moving to Pocatello from Arimo at a young age, the twins have shaped their community in many ways.
The brothers started Henderson Lumber after returning home from the war and contributed to building many homes in the area. Additionally, they were active in local politics and held positions of authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Growing up, everyone knew who they were,” said Jason Henderson, one of Boyd’s sons. “We couldn’t get away with anything because everyone knew our parents.”
Julie Monroe, Ralph’s daughter, said they wanted to invite the entire community to the birthday party to give the twins the opportunity to receive some of the love they have so freely given over the last century.
“Too many times we wait until someone passes away to give them honor and love,” Monroe said. “They’ve served their community and their family and their church so well, and we just wanted an opportunity for people to come by and say hello and give them a minute of the love and praise that they have given their whole life.”
She considers it remarkable for both brothers to be celebrating the milestone, and she believes their support of one another is a secret to their longevity.
She recalled how Ralph suffered a bad heart attack a few months ago, and Boyd came by to visit him.
“He came over and said, ‘You will get better,’” Monroe said. “I think they’ve developed strength from each other, and they continue to live because of each other.”
When Ralph was drafted into the war, Boyd didn’t skip a beat in signing himself up. According to Trevor Henderson, another of Boyd’s sons, Boyd’s draft number was quite low. So it’s likely he would not have entered the war until much later had he waited for the draft.
“To see them make this mile marker together, I just think it’s outstanding. It touches my heart really deeply,” Trevor said.
Boyd, who lives in Pocatello, said he was excited for the party and felt grateful that he could share the moment with Ralph, who lives in Burley.
“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Boyd said. “I’m so glad I can do this with (Ralph). And I’m happy that they’re going to honor us. It’s pretty neat.”
Trevor said the party will be fairly casual. A choir will perform, and then people will have the opportunity to interact with the brothers and swap memories.
“It’s an opportunity for us to thank them and honor the great people they have been in serving so many people,” Monroe said. “I think the community is lucky to have had them for 100 years. Pocatello would be a different place without Ralph and Boyd Henderson.”