Paynesville woman reaches century mark

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 5/9/01.

Ada Engelbretson Slowly the flowers started to arrive. Before noon, Ada Engelbretson had a couple of corsages, balloons, and bouquets of flowers. Well-wishers stopped by and congratulated her on her birthday and told her how great she looked.

Ada didn't celebrate just any birthday last week. She turned 100 on Wednesday, May 2.

Born in 1901 on a Paynesville farm, Ada was one of eight children born to William and Louise Albrecht. They grew up north of the Zion Cemetery on 263rd Street.

Three siblings are still living: Ada, who turned 100 last week, Dora Bardson, 96, of Waite Park; and Alvina Scheierl, 86, of Paynesville.

Ada attended a country school down the road from where she lived. Like many farm children, she did not attend high school. She said she started the eighth grade but never finished. "I worked on the farm and did a little restaurant work," she added.

Alvina recalls Ada working at the Assembly Grounds as a teenager.

She met Paul Engelbretson while working as a waitress in Rockford. They were married in 1939 on a relative's farm in South Dakota.

Paul worked as a conductor for the railroad, and the couple lived in many different places during their married life. When he retired, they moved back to Paynesville.

A member of the Grace United Methodist Church, Ada was a regular of the quilting group. She loved to sew, her sister said.

After Paul's death, Ada continued living in her home until 1991, when she became a resident of 700 Stearns Place. In March of this year she became a resident at the Koronis Manor.

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