Changing Aging Blog

Honoring Verna Bloom, Age 104, at Ecumen-Managed Sunnyside Care Center
Date: Mar 20th, 2014 4:43pm

Author:

Ben Taylor

Everybody wants to know Verna Bloom’s secret.  She’ll tell you being 104 years old “surprises” her because she has “no secret of any kind.” 

“Every day is a gift from God,” Verna is fond of saying.

The staff at Ecumen-managed Sunnyside Care Center in Lake Park, Minn., where Verna lives, has some insight into her longevity.  “Verna is always smiling and has a gracious heart,” says Laura Boreen, the resident services director. “She is always thinking about and caring for others.”

Verna was born on a farm near Audubon, Minn., in Becker County, March 22, 1910, and was one of eight children. Growing up, she milked cows and worked around the family farm.

Verna met her husband Willard, nicknamed “Chubby,” when she was 22.  He would come to Lake Park on his motorcycle and take her on rides.  When she was 24 they got married and had two children.

She and Willard owned a hardware store in Lake Park, where she was the manager.  She also cut and styled hair for many years and enjoyed playing the piano.

When she was in her 70s, after Willard died, she would go to Chicago for extended periods to babysit for her grandchildren, who gave her the nickname “Big V.”

Verna stays active crocheting baby blankets for her great-great grandkids, and she never misses a Friday Bingo game.  And she is always smiling. 

Sunnyside Care Center will be serving cake and ice cream this Saturday to celebrate.  And the Detroit Lakes Tribune has featured a story about her.

Ecumen honors Verna Bloom.  Happy 104th Birthday.

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