Ostrander woman celebrates 103rd birthday - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Ostrander woman celebrates 103rd birthday

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OSTRANDER, Minn (FOX 47) -

She lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and many other major events.

On November 5th, she'll celebrate her 103rd birthday!

At 103 years young, Frances Gilbert has been through a lot in her many decades on Earth.

Gilbert grew up four miles west of Preston, Minnesota.

"Before I started at school, there was a neighbor boy that use to ride his pony and leave it in the pasture right by the house," said Gilbert. "And I could ride it whenever I wanted to."

After graduating from high school she went to teachers training, but never went into education.

"There was about three teachers to every school and the wages were terrible, said Gilbert" She instead found a job in town doing secretarial work. 

She was married to her first husband Leonard Severson for 36 years until he passed. They were living in Buffalo, New York at the time.

One year later she moved back home and re-met her second husband Art Gilbert, a man she had dated before her first marriage.

"You couldn't have had a better step-dad than he was," said Gilbert's oldest daughter Jane Krueger.

They were married for 25 years until he passed in 1999.

Active late into life, Gilbert was able to drive until she voluntarily gave up her license at the age of 96.

"She never got stopped by a cop, never had a speeding ticket, never had an accident in all that time," said Gilbert's youngest daughter Julia Fackrell. "I would think it's a record."

Fourteen years ago she became the first resident of the Ostander Care & Rehab Facility.

"I think I'm pretty active for my age," said Gilbert.

Gilbert also loves to play cards with anyone willing to play.

"There is a game called Fast Track. She is a wiz," said close friend Carol Kohl. "You play her, you better plan on losing."

These days, Gilbert takes things slow and lives life one day at a time.

"A day at a time sweet Jesus," said Gilbert. "That's all I'm asking you."

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