Before a large crowd of family and friends, Evelyn Dionisio, a Trinidad entrepreneur and businesswoman who hit the big 90 on Saturday, July 6, was surprised and pleased to be at the Mt. Carmel Wellness Center with a lot of folks. And she was particularly happy to greet grandson Colton Grable who enlisted in the Marines two years ago after a memorable student-athlete career at Hoehne High School.
Colton, a standout athlete and student who has fond memories of his Hoehne experience, will remember this one even more. Currently stationed in Okinowa, Japan, he flew to Colorado from Tokyo, and was there. A bit late, but he was there for Grandma Evelyn. His appearance was a surprise to most in attendance, including his grandmother and his parents.
“I wouldn’t have missed it for the whole world,” quipped Colton. “It is great to be here for her 90th. I wish her a happy birthday. It feels good to be here with her. I’m really glad to be back home to spend some time with all my family.”
Not even his mom and dad knew he was coming. “It shocked me,” said dad Dennis. “I had no idea, none what-so-ever. He went right to Evelyn when he walked in. It sure was great to see him.”
Son Eddie Diniosio, currently residing in Denver, was one of the few who knew that Colton would be there. He was also quite pleased with the experience. “It was great,” mused Eddie. “It was a great 60th anniversary of my mom’s 21st birthday!”
Evelyn has been a supporter and friend to legions of family and friends over her lifetime, including this writer. In a time of need, she was there for me. But I’m not the only one.
Nancy Toupal, Evelyn’s niece, was a catalytic ringleader for the birthday event. “My auntie is a person that goes out of her way to help her family and people she cares about. She’s always been there for me since I was a little girl, and since then she’s always supported my kids. And it was extra special that her sister Jeannete Nelson from Oklahoma City was there. She and husband Wayne and three of Jeanetts’s kids were also there. Of course, Colton stole the show. His mother and father had no idea. He was happy to be here for his granny and all his family and friends.”
Jeannie Grable was also pleasantly surprised to see her son unexpectedly walk into the hall to greet his grandmother. “So many people were having a grand time with the celebration,” Jeannie said. “It was a great day for mom, and Colton’s appearance made my cry. This will always be a memorable day. It was wonderful that we had some family travel from Oklahoma, and Colton showed up from Okinowa. They traveled from near and far to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday. It surely was a great day for everybody.”
Happy birthday, Ms. Evelyn. May you have 90 more!