109-year-old New Milford native celebrates shared birthday with youth

NEW MILFORD — A century separates Dorothy Murphy, of New Milford, and Gift Nifor, of Torrington.

Born exactly 100 years apart to the day, the two have celebrated their birthday together for the past three years.

This year was no different for the 109-year-old Murphy and 9-year-old Gift, who emigrated from Liberia to America with her father, Abraham, and mother, Ruth, four years ago.

Festivities weren’t typical this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they celebrated their special day in style.

Adhering to social distancing measures across the yard from each other, they gathered on their birthday — Aug. 8 — outside Murphy’s home to watch a birthday car parade, escorted by New Milford police, in their honor.

“I feel so happy we’re celebrating together,” Gift said as she and her family sat around a card table. “It makes me feel very happy and special to see everyone.”

Family and friends coordinated the event.

Stephen Tracy met Murphy through a mutual friend and introduced Gift and Murphy once he discovered they share the same birth date.

“We’ve been doing joint birthday parties for a few years,” Tracy said.

Last year’s event was held at Harrybrooke Park in New Milford.

Murphy was born in a house on Grove Street located near the Booth House, but it has since burned down.

She has lived all but a brief time in town, making her one of the oldest New Milford residents born in town.