Billie Smith’s family was unable to throw her a big party for her 100th birthday — thanks to COVID-19 restrictions — but the small gathering on July 22 was still a hit.

During the celebration, held at Montana Mike’s Steakhouse, the eight party-goers took care to practice social distancing among the decorations, and as party favors everyone received a colorful face mask decorated with “Happy Birthday” and balloons. Billie wore a tiara and received a nice bag of gifts and a vase of cut flowers as well as cards.

After plans for a drive-by birthday parade fell through, Billie’s family decided the next best thing would be for her to receive 100 cards. Billie is losing her eyesight but has a reader, and she is keeping busy reading her cards, her family said. Anyone who wants to send a card can mail it to Billie Jean Smith, 215 SE Debell, Apt. 35, Bartlesville, OK 74006.

Billie had participated in the Elder Care program until March when the pandemic hit. Her family says she enjoyed the exercises, companionship and mental stimulation; they feel Elder Care/Daybreak has been instrumental in helping with her longevity and quality of life. She hopes to go back as soon as things get back to somewhat normal.

Members of the program did remember Billie on her birthday as they sent her a dozen cards as well as cake and balloons.

Last year after her 99th birthday party, Billie’s family took her to visit staff at the Mutual Tuesday House nonprofit resale shop where she had volunteered for 15 years. A promise was made that they would get an invitation to her 100th party. Those plans didn’t work out, but the family says if celebration is held at a later date, they will get that requested invitation.

Billie has outlived her two husbands: Pat Coyne for 25 years, then Carl J. Smith for 28 years. Her son, also named Pat, turned 80 this year while she turned 100.

The birthday girl wants to say thank you to everyone for remembering her special day.