Dwayne Hansberger sings birthday wishes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dwayne Hansberger sings birthday wishes

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GRUNDY CENTER (KWWL) -

Dwayne "Buzz" Hansberger, who lives in long-term care at the Grundy County Memorial Hospital, turns 96 on Feb. 20.

But every day, he looks forward to telling other people happy birthday.

"When they answer the telephone, if it's the right person, I start singing," said Hansberger.

Hansberger sings his own version of the song. He gets most of the names, numbers and birth dates from his church directory at Walnut Ridge Baptist Church in Waterloo.

He also sings to others in long-term care, and anyone who wants to give him their phone number and birth date.

"I think a lot of the older folks that maybe live alone, that's very popular," said Hollie Beem, long-term care activity coordinator at Grundy County. "That he's thinking of them and that he takes the time to call and do that -- it's just a very special thing."

Beem estimated Hansberger sings to at least 1,000 people per year.

Besides birthday songs, Hansberger sings hymns or other songs related to holidays such as Christmas and Easter.

"I think it is so good for Buzz because it is something that gives him a real purpose," Beem said. "It's something he looks forward to doing, and if he meets someone new he says, 'Write down your name and your birthday and I'll call you and sing to you,' and people just love that."

Buzz doesn't have any formal musical training, but said he and his wife used to sing in the church choir. Back when he was about 19 years old, he sang in church with his cousins in what they called the "Hansberger Trio."

These days, he's content using his cell phone to share his singing voice.

"I love it. I love to sing to people, especially if they enjoy it," said Hansberger.

Hansberger said he would enjoy adding even more people to his birthday singing list. Those interested in being added to his list may call long-term care at the Grundy County Memorial Hospital in Grundy Center.

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