Monday, May 21, 2018
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Happy 100th Birthday Edna

Gothenburg native celebrates a century of life

Hearing is difficult at times, and she spends her days in a wheelchair, but there are no complaints from Edna Maurer who’s now lived more than a century.

Edna celebrated 100 years with family and friends on her special day Friday at Hilltop Estates Care Center.

Before going outside to see 100 balloons released in her honor, Edna visited with well wishers, a corsage pinned to her sweater.

“Everything is so pretty,” she said about the flowers, cards and presents she received. “And it’s nice to have the company.”

Edna was born east of town in a home where Archie and Jan Rickertsen now live.

“It rained so much that February, and there were no gravel roads,” she recalls being told about the day she was born. “The doctor had a new car so he called Dad to come get him by horse and buggy.”

in addition to Edna, there were eight children. Two died.

Her father cut ice at Lake Helen for a time and also farmed.

The family moved to different farms near Gothenburg and Edna attended country schools, graduating from Gothenburg High School in 1931.

While in country school, she remembers how students “were turned loose” every time an airplane flew over because it was an unusual occurrence.

A fond memory she has of Gothenburg is gathering around a stove on cold days at the Aden & Kampfe store with other young people.

She taught at District 81R for three years and married Collis Maurer in 1935. The couple raised corn, pigs, cows, chickens, a garden and two boys, Richard and George. George died in 1998.

Through the years, Edna said she’s taken life “as it came.”

“I also lived a straight life and enjoyed it,” she said. “I have a nice bunch around me.”


Another memory she recalled is the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941. Edna was pregnant with Richard and worried that two brothers in the service would be sent to the conflict in Hawaii.

“It upset me thinking about it,” Edna said. “I didn’t sleep at all.”

A few years later, brother Wyatt Davis of Gothenburg (Penny Holm’s father) was on his way to France to fight in World War II.

“But they heard the fighting had quit so they threw their caps into the Atlantic,” Edna said.

Through the years, she said she’s witnessed many changes—the invention of modern cameras, automobiles and telephones are just a few.

Edna remembers when her grandfather bought a Reo, the first car she ever rode in, and the family went to a local photographer to have their picture taken.

“It had side curtains,” she said. “I thought it was something.”

Another big change she’s noticed is maps.

“I used to know all the countries and now many of those names have changed,” Edna said.

Advice she offered for others striving to reach 100 years is to “be on the good side and enjoy life.”

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