Very few people are blessed to live to be 100 years old. However, Cavalier County native Anna Hoffarth seems to be doubly blessed. Friday, August 17, 2018, marked Hoffarth’s 110th birthday. To celebrate this auspicious event, the staff at Maple Manor Care Center, where Hoffarth lives, threw her a birthday party and invited everyone in the community. To help celebrate, Hoffarth’s three living children were on hand.
By Lisa Nowatzki
When guests walked in, they were greeted with colorful balloons, streamers, and posters. All the residents and guests sat at tables gathered in the lobby topped by candy and flowers. Hoffarth sat at the head table surrounded by two cakes, one of which was made especially for her from Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies.
Connie Hakanson, administrator of the Care Center, orchestrated a program that celebrated Hoffarth with shared memories and music. During the two-hour-long program, Hakanson said that more than 150 guests had a piece of Hoffarth’s cake and nearly 200 guests came to help celebrate.
To begin, Hakanson welcomed everyone and then turned the program over to Father Bernard Schneider, nephew of Hoffarth, for opening prayer and comments about Anna. Next, Callie Perry and Lizzie Muhs, both CNA’s at the Care Center, sang a duet for Anna called, “Happy Days are Here Again.”
Pastor Adrian Olson could have reviewed the highlights of each year of Hoffarth’s life but opted for the shorter version by highlighting each decade of Anna’s life. Father Phil spoke and gave some heartfelt comments about Anna.
Marilyn Wilson, granddaughter of Hoffarth, recited the family history and narrated for the family skit, that was performed by some of the grandchildren and other family members, titled “Through the Years.” Bob Tapson, Tom Mann, and Don Klein performed various songs for Hoffarth.
Many things have changed for Hoffarth in 110 years. In 1908 the first commercial oil strike happened in the Middle East, and Henry Ford built the first Model-T car. Albert Einstein presented his quantum theory of light. Women could not vote, nor could they have credit cards in their own name. Abortion was illegal and so was the pill. Women were not admitted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, or Columbia or could apply to graduate school. There were no women astronauts nor any women Supreme Court Justices in 1908.
Anna Hoffarth was born into a world without antibiotics, television, and the internet. She lived part of her life without aerosols, scotch tape, and photocopiers. Hoffarth lives in an ocean-filled world that has made leaps and bounds in technology and medication, allowing the world population to rise from 1.6 billion to 7.6 billion in Hoffarth’s 110 years. What kind of world will we live in for the next 110 years?