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Bismarck woman lives life of adventure, celebrates 100th birthday

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 2:52 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A Bismarck woman will celebrate a big milestone next week.

On Tuesday, May 17, Thelma Hettervig will turn 100 years old.

Her life has been one adventure after another.

This scrapbook holds a lot of memories for Thelma Hettervig. It tells her life story, which began a century ago.

A few highlights from the scrapbook of Thelma’s life:

Her first husband fought in World War Two.

Her second husband was also in the Army.

“He was in Germany,” Hettervig recalled.

Hettervig has traveled the world; she recalls trips to Hawaii, the Bahamas and Norway. That’s where her mother grew up. She came to America all by herself at age 19.

“She came all the way across Norway, across the ocean, across the United States and all the way up to North Dakota,” Hettervig said.

Hettervig and her six siblings grew up on a farm in eastern North Dakota. There, Hettervig remembers always getting into mischief.

“I was a naughty one,” she laughed. “I was nosy and curious and always wanted to find answers.”

Hettervig has four children, 23 grandchildren and several great grandchildren

“Their pictures are all on the wall,” she said as she pointed to the wall in her assisted living room at Touchmark in Bismarck.

Also on the wall is a painting Hettervig painted more than 40 years ago.

“I forgot the trees in the background,” she said.

Much like Hettervig, this painting has stood the test of time.

Hettervig says age is just a number. While many say she doesn’t look a day over 80, Hettervig feels even younger.

“I would say I feel about 60 or 70 years old,” she said.

Her only complaint is she recently got hearing aids.

“I’m getting hard of hearing. Darn it,” she laughed.

She’s not really sure what the secret to such a long life is, but she says maybe it’s her diet.

“I eat lots and lots of dairy. I use three or four tubs of cream in a cup of coffee!” Hettervig admitted.

She says an active lifestyle helps too.

“When I was younger I did a lot of walking,” she said.

As she looks back on photos of her life, she is reminded of what a good life it has been. And she points out, she’s not done yet.

“If there were grandkids here, I’d get on the floor and play with them!” she said.

Hettervig ‘s family will celebrate her birthday Saturday with a big party.

Her 85-year-old sister will make the trip from Grand Forks. They’re also expecting guests from Minnesota, Virginia and Australia.

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