High waters and seemingly never-ending rain may have drowned Shelley Magnuson’s plans for a 90-plus birthday bash for residents at Turner Retirement Homes in January, but her enthusiasm never dampened.
“The last time we held a party was about three years ago,” she said. “Time to celebrate more 90-year-olds!”
Magnuson hosts a birthday party every month, but for those special occasions – married for more than 60 years or celebrating more than 90 years of life – a larger celebration is planned.
This go-round, held March 24 after a week of snow threatened to cancel it again, was for residents celebrating 90 or more years of life.
Naomi Ruth Wood, 103
Mae Nelson, 102
Mildred Rathmacher, 97
Ernie Chamberlain, 96
Pearl Damewood, 96
Marcia Vowell, 95
Evabelle Mays, 95
Elsie Tiffin, 95
Irene Lacy, 95
Milly Vincent, 94
Herald Haskell, 93
Mary Etta Kent, 93
Eunice Royston, 92
Hulda Beck, 92
Alger Fitch, 92
Jack Stockton, 92
Wilda Lesemann, 92
Leila Zehrung, 92
Olof Carpenter, 91
Mabel “Gigi” Phelps, 91
Fay Hoffman, 91
Ray Lasniewski, 90
Wilma Haskell, 90
Roberta Reed, 90
Twila Bonar, 90
Aneta Craig, 89
Joe Scovell, 89.
“I put together a photo of when they were young with a recent one,” Magnuson said. “And I talk about historic events that happened when they were born, like Oreos turning 100 years old or the sinking of the Titanic, that sort of thing.”
This year, Magnuson gathered tidbits about turning “old” from such notables as Bob Hope, who said on turning 90, “You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake!”
On turning 100, he added, “I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon, then it’s time for my nap!”
Each celebrant was also given a certificate with a poem:
“Many happy returns on the day of your birth; may sunshine and gladness by given. And may the dear Father prepare thee on earth, for a beautiful birthday in heaven.”
“We used to say that in Sunday school,” Magnuson said. “We’d put pennies in a little bank for however old we were.”
Residents get excited before the celebration, bringing about what Magnuson called “a kind of cheer in their souls.”
“And a pride about their lives, that they’re still contributing and interacting with fellow residents,” she added. “May Nelson, for example, is 102 and is still active. She loves to play Wii bowling. She also knits hats and mittens for mission groups and foster children. She participates in any activity she can get to.”
“The party was a hit!” Magnuson said. “Many family members came, and they all enjoyed hearing about the many happy and healthy residents we have, ages 58-103.”
Turner Retirement Homes residents have plenty of activities to keep them busy when birthdays are not the occasion: Wii bowling, Bingo, movie/popcorn Wednesdays, crocheting, knitting, exercise classes, jigsaw puzzles, cards and dominos, a computer lab, and bus trips once a week to local stores.
“Turner Retirement Homes is very homelike – a small, quiet, very friendly place to live. You just know people are looking out for you!” Magnuson said.
For information, visit www.trhomes.org or contact Magnuson at 503-743-2490.