Knutson Place resident an active centenarian, celebrates 101st birthday

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Knutson Place resident Ted Spain will be the first to tell you he has no idea how he lived to see 101.

The longtime Hollandale resident, who also spent some time in the Lake Chapeau area in Albert Lea before moving to Knutson Place, celebrated his birthday on Wednesday with surprise festivities during breakfast at the complex.

He said he did not know he was going to be surprised with the birthday celebration, which even included cake. He was given a sash to identify him as “Birthday King” and a crown to wear on his head. Prior to that, his only plans for the big day were to go to dinner with his daughter-in-law at Wedgewood Cove.

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Spain said he was born in Montezuma, Iowa, and at the age of 4 moved with his family to Hollandale. His father farmed, and he carried on in the tradition, farming onions and potatoes for a living.

Spain also served in the U.S. Navy during World War II at the Naval Resource Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

He and his wife, Ruth, were married for 72 years before his wife passed away six years ago, and they had two children, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Besides family, some of the other things he has enjoyed during his life include learning to fly — he had his pilot’s license — as well as riding a motorcycle before he was drafted and spending time with friends.

Nowadays, Spain says he enjoys spending time online and particularly enjoys researching World War II history. Unlike others his age, he seemed to have no hesitation about using cell phones or computers.

He said he has lived in his apartment at Knutson Place for about six years.