‘Happy Birthday to You, You and You’: Jan. 4 Is a Family Affair

By Enjoli Francis

Jan 4, 2012 6:23pm

 

ap jan 4 family birthday tk 120104 wblog Happy Birthday to You, You and You: Jan. 4 Is a Family Affair

For the Stiff-Gonyers in Ohio, one particular birthday is a real family affair.

Jan. 4 is not only patriarch Richard Stiff’s birthday, it’s also the day his daughter Julia Gonyer and granddaughter Kourtney Gonyer were born.

On top of that, his father, Marshall Stiff, celebrated his birth on the same day until he died in 2000.

Julia Gonyer said that while most people found the three-generation birthday intriguing and a bit hard to believe, her mother enjoyed the extra gift-giving so close after the Christmas holiday.

“She never complained,” Julia Gonyer told ABC News. “I think for my mom, it was just so neat.”

None of the births — Marshall Stiff in 1924; Richard Stiff in 1947; Julia Gonyer in 1978; and Kourtney in 2011 — were scheduled. Julia Gonyer was born two weeks’ late. Her daughter was due Jan. 3.

Richard Stiff and Julia and Kourtney Gonyer are all firstborns as well.

Julia Gonyer, a speech language pathologist from Sylvania Township, said today that as she grew up, she liked sharing her birthday with the two men.

“The odds of something like that happening I wouldn’t think were very high,” she said. “It was neat because of the rarity of it. I never felt like ‘Oh my God, I have to share my birthday.’ I actually liked it.”

She said that before her grandfather died, the three had a tradition in which they had dinner at a particular restaurant that sent them home with three individual chocolate cakes and offered a discount on their meal based on their age. The eatery has since closed.

Julia Gonyer said that after her grandfather died, she and her father continued to have dinner with family and till this day always call to wish each other a “Happy birthday.”

And although little Kourtney Gonyer is expected to have a separate birthday party this weekend to celebrate her turning 1 — complete with chocolate cupcakes — Julia Gonyer and her father plan to create a new tradition to experience with the toddler.

“I enjoyed [sharing my birthday],” Julia Gonyer said. “I’m hoping my daughter will to.”

 

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