‘Live for today’

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Gladys Weyrum of Alden will turn 103 this November. She has lived in Freeborn County since she was 10. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

ALDEN — Ask Alden resident Gladys Weyrum how she has lived to be 102, and she’ll tell you it’s simple.

“Live for today,” Weyrum said. “Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow isn’t here yet.”

It’s with that simple motto that the small-framed woman with a sparkle in her eye has outlived her parents, her husband and even her own children.

Alden resident Gladys Weyrum, 102, regularly completes the crossword puzzles in the Tribune.

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She said she never drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes, and she always made it a priority to volunteer for her community.

“I just live,” Weyrum said.

Even now, as she still lives alone in her simple one-bedroom house, she sews 35 utility bags each spring to send to orphans in Jamaica.

She completes jigsaw puzzles in her living room each day and regularly fills out the Tribune’s crossword puzzles.

She moves around her house with either a walker or a wheelchair, and she cooks some meals for herself. She practices walking by taking laps around her living room, pulling out a playing card with each lap she makes.

And she loves to read.

“I like to read anything I can get ahold of,” Weyrum said.

When she was born Nov. 8, 1909, in Raymond, there were no cars, televisions or even radios. She said she has learned to live a life without worry.

“You take it as it comes,” Weyrum said. “I tell people, you worry about nothing. You worry all day, what good does it do?”

She and her family moved to Alden when she was 10 and lived on a farm, where she and her two sisters fed the pigs and cows, watered and fed the chickens and picked up eggs.

From a German background, she learned to speak English in 1918.

She married Arndt Weyrum in 1928 and had two sons, one of which died at age 7 and the other of which died in 1991.

She moved into her house where she lives today in the late 1950s.

After her husband died in the 1960s, she shared her home and cared for her sister who suffered from severe arthritis.

Over the years she has cared for others as well.

“Gladys has a positive attitude,” said her personal care attendant Pamela Slette of Albert Lea. “When she wakes up every day, she is determined. She’s got a lot of positivity and a good heart.”


Gladys Weyrum

Age: 102

Address: 153 First Ave., Alden

Livelihood: former housewife

Family: daughter-in-law Muriel Weyrum, two grandsons and four great-grandchildren

Interesting fact: Weyrum was selected as the 2001 Minnesota Outstanding Senior Citizen of Freeborn County.