St. John’s resident credits hard work in reaching 100 years
Published 10:22 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Ask Albert Lea resident Eleanor Pedersen what her secret is to living to be 100 years old, and she’ll tell you she has worked hard over her lifetime.
With no brothers in her family, she said she and her two sisters did most of the chores on her family’s farm.
Besides that, she has kept her mind active and to this day enjoys playing card games such as 500 and reading novels — hobbies that have kept her mind sharp.
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Pedersen, 99, has lived in St. John’s Lutheran Community for about a year and a half. She will turn 100 on Friday.
Pedersen was born May 22, 1915, at her parent’s home in the country in Faribault County.
She said she went to a one-room schoolhouse in District No. 136 and graduated from high school in Wells.
After high school, she attended one year of training to become a teacher and taught for about seven years at Mt. Pleasant School District No. 110.
Right before the end of her seventh year of teaching, she married her first husband Bill Pieper, who ultimately died in 1960.
In 1963, she married a man named Morris Pedersen, who lived to be 97.
Pedersen said the two traveled to every state in the country plus Europe twice.
Out of everything in her lifetime, however, she said her biggest hobby was making quilts and organizing her material.
“My granddaughter said there isn’t a bed in my house that doesn’t have grandma’s quilts,” Pedersen said. “That was my main thing besides traveling.”
While she made many quilts for her family and friends, she also made quilts with others at her church to give away.
She last quilted in 1990.
Pedersen said she lived in an apartment at Knutson Place for about eight years before moving into St. John’s Lutheran Community.
Age: 99 (will be 100 on Friday)
Address: St. John’s Lutheran Community, Albert Lea
Livelihood: former country school teacher, worker at a chicken canning facility
Family: daughter, Carol; two granddaughters; five great-grandchildren
Interesting fact: Pedersen quilted for mission quilting for at least 30 years as part of Redeemer Lutheran Church.
At St. John’s, she still tries to stay as independent as possible, getting around the halls with a motorized wheelchair.
She said people call her “the woman with a book,” and she likes to read anything that comes along.
“She’s easy to get along with,” said Laura Crawford, certified nursing assistant. “She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.”
Crawford complimented Pedersen’s sense of humor and said she has no major health problems.
Pedersen said she will enjoy two parties for her birthday, one at Knutson Place with some of her old friends and one at St. John’s. She said her family is planning an outing on Sunday at Wedgewood Cove.