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Maple Manor Care Center, home to six Centenarians

Centenarians are people that have reached their 100th birthday.

Posted on 9/1/17

By Lisa Nowatzki

According to the 2010 census report, people that live to be 100 or more make up a small portion of the population. In 2010, in the United States, there were 53,364 people over 100. That averages out to be roughly two centenarians for every 10,000 people.

In 2010, Langdon’s population was just under 2000 people. With Langdon’s six Centenarians, there is one centenarian for every 333 people. Women centenarians tend to reach the 100 year mark more than men. According to the 2010 census, more than 80 percent of the United States centenarians are women. As age increases, so does the number of women.

Ninety-two percent of people over 100 fall within the ages of 100 to 104. According to the census, most centenarians who reach the age group have a life expectancy of 2.4 years.

Anna Hoffarth is the oldest of the centenarians at Maple Manor. She was born on August 17, 1908. She just celebrated her 109th birthday a few weeks ago.

Roman Michels was born in Munich on February 12, 1917. He is the last surviving Michels in Langdon. He grew up with five brothers and six sisters. He was married for 63 years. His wife passed in 2005. Michels has one daughter. He has lived in Langdon since 1964.

Michels shared that he worked at the missile sites in Langdon and Nekoma from 1975 to 1988. The Nekoma missile site was designed during the Cold War to protect the United States against a nuclear ICBM missile strike from the Soviet Union.

Michels’ other job included working at a bar in Langdon for ten years.

When asked about the secret to a long life, Michels replied, “Listen to your doctors, golf a lot, and play cards.”

Marjorie Domres is also over 100. She was born March 26, 1917 on a farm just south of Wales. She weighed only two to three pounds when she was born. She was not expected to live, but she survived and thrived. Domres grew up with one sister, Dorothy, and had two children during her marriage.

During World War II, Domres joined the Women’s Army Corp. or WAC. According to the Army history site, over 150,000 American women served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. Members of the WAC were the first women, other than nurses, to serve within the ranks of the United States Army.

When asked about her job during World War II, Domres said, “I went to Washington state, California, and Oregon doing whatever they needed me to do.”

When asked what advice she would give to young men and women just going out into the world Domres replied, “Girls, keep the men in their place!”

Edna Rose is another member of the centenarian club. Her birthday is January 19, 1917, and she was born on a farm near Dresden. Rose had four brothers and sisters. She was married for 50 years to Edwin Rose, a farmer.

During her younger days, Rose said that she taught for four years in some of the rural schools.

When asked what her secret was to a long life, Rose replied, “Keep busy, develop an interest and keep your mind active.” Today, Rose keeps her mind busy and active by doing crosswords and sudoku puzzles.

Kathryn Shablow is another Maple Manor resident that has made the 100 year mark. She was born on September 18, 1916 in Minnesota but moved to Langdon when she was eight. She has lived in Langdon for 91 years.

Shablow said, “I was number 12 of 12 children. I only weighed two pounds at birth.”

During her lifetime, she worked for the Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. for 28 years. She also worked at Boyd’s for a while.

Shablow married later in life at the age of 57. She was married for seven years to Frank Shablow. She stated that she had seven good years with Frank before he passed.”

When asked if she had any advice for young ladies today, she replied, “Don’t get too excited.”

Lolo Lorenz has also passed the 100 year mark. She was born or July 14, 1916 in Edinburg. She went to school in Nekoma. Lorenz stated that she was married a lot of years and lived on a farm.

When asked what her secret was to a long life, she replied, “You need to live a good clean life  and read a lot.”

Edna Rose and Kathryn Shablow share a rare and special bond. They have been friends for the past 93 years.

They became friends when they were three years old. They lived beside each other for about 37 years, then they became next door neighbors at Wheatland Estates, an assisted living center, here in Langdon. Now both are residents of Maple Manor and have rooms adjacent to each other.

Both agree that when the time comes, they will be heavenly neighbors in the next life, too.

What’s the common denominator between the six? What’s the secret to living a long and healthy life beyond the 100 year mark? No special diet nor any exercise program is required. Perhaps, the key to longevity is found right outside the front door, in the community and in the city of Langdon.