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100 today: Ishpeming native Verna Holmgren is celebrated on her birthday

MARQUETTE –In 1921 Albert Einstein won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in theoretical physics and on May 13 that same year Verna Holmgren was born in Ishpeming.

That means today is her 100th birthday.

She still lives in Ishpeming.

Holmgren grew up through the Great Depression and World War II. Those times shaped part of the lens through which she views the world.

Being a part of ‘The Greatest Generation’ meant spending early childhood inevitably learning to practice being innovative and grateful.

Holmgren had three children: David Holmgren, Joan Nelson and Julianne Quayle.

According to her daughters, she still portrays those unique parts of her personality in her everyday life.

Her youngest daughter Julianne Quayle told The Mining Journal in a phone interview: “She doesn’t portray ever in her late stages of life that she needs us or puts any stress on anyone. After her lung surgery a few years ago I stayed with her for two nights. On the third morning she told me she doesn’t need to be babysat.

“She watched my two daughters and son (Verna’s grandchildren) in her 70s. She would make them lunches and go to different parks every day. They would go on hikes, my mom hiked up Sugarloaf in her 70’s! They still talk about how much fun they had with her.”

Her eldest daughter Joan Nelson told The Mining Journal, “She is very hard working. She sewed most of our clothes. She is very innovative, like she can see something that should be done this way and she figures it out. It always looks nice. Even our home was not expensive but she made it look classy. She made curtains and slip covers for our couches … She wasn’t hard nosed at all, but she was a very strong woman and very hard working.”

Verna’s classic and unique personality gives her family and the entire community of Ishpeming a great example of how to savor experiences of living everyday life to the fullest and how to take charge in order to get the best out of your experiences.

At the age of 100 Verna Holmgren still takes care of herself and gets her own vacuuming done.

A unanimous well wishing from her daughters and daughter-in-law says: “God bless you on 100 years of a life well lived.”

Katie Segula can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is ksegula@miningjournal.net.

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