Family and friends gathering around Fern Zinser talked about their hopes of joining her in a very elite club-- those celebrating 100 years of life.
“Let me know when you make it!” joked Fern, who turned 100 on Jan. 20.
The Oakwood Care Center resident has certainly filled her years with adventures, hard work, travel and
much love. Her large family and many friends helped her celebrate her milestone birthday in many ways all last week. At each of the get-togethers Fern reveled in sharing her colorful past and told all she has lived a blessed life.
In her youth, Fern worked alongside her parents and siblings shucking grain, driving a team of horses in the field, and milking cows on their family farm in Jackson County, Minn. The family moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa when she was 13. And although she had dreams of becoming a doctor, the family simply couldn’t afford it. It was the height of the Depression, and there was no money to pay for schooling past eighth grade, so she became a practical nurse.
Fern glowed as she recounted the story to those at Oakwood of once delivering a baby girl all by herself before the doctor could arrive.
“The good Lord gave me a gift to care for people,” explained Fern, who remembered working 20-hour days as a nurse.
In 1935, Fern married Gene Snow and in the mid-1940’s the couple moved to Clear Lake with their five sons. The large family has provided Fern with numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Sadly, Gene passed away after 31 years of marriage.
After her retirement from Armour after 27 years, Fern bought a motor home and traveled to Texas. There she met Emery - her second husband for 23 years. Together the couple spent 18 years traveling the United States in their motor home. Fern said that there were so many wonderful sights that she couldn’t pick out a favorite, but they did make it a habit of attending a church service nearly each Sunday regardless of their location.
“The Lord was with us all the time. He is a good companion to travel with,” explained Fern. “We visited many churches— they were just buildings. There is only one God regardless of which building you worship in.” -Read More Via e-Edition