Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 13, 2003

St. Mary's residents recall a century of experiences

By Julie Yurek

Just by looking at the faces of Elsie Wudke, 103, Theresa Schoenberger, 102, and Albert Marr, 100, one would never know what kind of lives they lived.

Consider this: the trio was born about the time when Teddy Roosevelt took his first oath of office in 1901.

Wudke's father, Anthony Welch, was a state representative for McLeod County from 1915 to 1925. Wudke drove him to and from the state capitol because he did not drive.

She met and chatted with former governor Floyd Olson while he was in office at the capitol.

After she graduated from high school in Glencoe, she wanted to go to college, but she didn't have the money, she said. Instead, she taught school for five years.

She was married in 1932. Her husband died six weeks later and she never remarried.

She owned an ice business with stores in Glencoe, Norwood, Hamburg, and Green Isle. She ran the business until electric refrigeration was invented.

After the ice business, Wudke farmed with her brother, Gordon Welch, and his wife, who were also raising her three nieces and nephews.

However, Wudke's sister-in-law died some time later, leaving Wudke and her brother to raise the children.

Wudke loves sports, especially football and basketball, she said.

Her grandson, Craig Terlinden, was a member of the Glencoe-Silver Lake football team in 1999.

Wudke was a resident at St. Mary's for four weeks while she received physical therapy.

She resides in Glencoe and will celebrate her 104th birthday May 14.

Schoenberger was very active in her life. She helped milk cows when she was younger, she said.

Schoenberger is mentally handicapped, and received training at an adult training center. She never married.

She loved to play rummy, bowl, dance, and go fishing. She enjoys shopping, movies, drives, and restaurants, she said.

Being Catholic is also important to her, she said.

She has been a resident of St. Mary's since 1998. Schoenberger goes to almost all activities that St. Mary's provides and likes group activities, said Michele Muller, therapeutic recreational manager at St. Mary's.

Marr was born in Grafton, Wis., but was raised in North Dakota. His dad was a Lutheran minister. He is the youngest of 12 children.

He was married twice and has two children from his first wife, who died. His second wife also passed away.

Marr was a chiropractor for most of his life, but he also taught himself accounting.

After he retired from his chiropractoric career, he worked at H&R Block for 25 years.

Marr was a volunteer, ran marathons, and he liked to garden, especially flowers and vegetables. He also enjoys music; he used to sing in the church choir. He loves children and pets.

Marr participates in many activities at St. Mary's, such as church and special events.

If he is not sleeping, he's usually on the move. In the summertime, he loves to go outdoors, said Paula Hanson, therapeutic recreation.

All three individuals had very unique lives, and still more memories are being created every day.


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