Southern Minnesota Woman is the Oldest Living Person in the State, She’ll Turn 113 this Week
There's so much we could learn from someone like Erna Zahn. She could probably tell stories for days and days and I wouldn't get bored. Erna is the oldest knowing living resent of Minnesota. Her birthday is on Wednesday, April 14th and she will turn 113. Erna also happens to call southern Minnesota home. She currently lives in New Ulm, Minnesota.
The Star Tribune reports that Erna not only will be the oldest living person in Minnesota, but she's one of the 10 oldest living people in the entire country, according to Robert Young, who is the director of the Supercentenarian Research and Database division at the Gerontology Research Group. Also, once she turns 113, she'll be one of 35 people alive in the entire world to be verified at least 113 years old.
With Erna turning 113, that means she was born in 1908. That means she has now been through two pandemics, world wars, the Great Depression, the invention of cars, so many monumental moments in history! Her family used to get water from a well and would take a horse and buggy wherever they needed to go. Erna tells the Star Tribune, "'I wish I had kept a diary.'" Another fun fact about Erna: She moved from her home in New Ulm into an apartment at age 96, and then into the Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm at 109.
Something crazy that I learned while reading about Erna, is that in other countries they keep track of who their oldest residents are and they celebrate them. For example, the prime minister of Japan sends a silver cup on your 100th birthday. In Great Britain, the Queen sends you a birthday card on your 100th birthday. Why don't we celebrate our oldest residents like that in the US? I think we should.
*UPDATE: I received an email from a listener saying the US does, in fact, honor centenarians! You can fill out a form online before the person turns 100 (or older) verifying their address and date of birth. Then on their birthday, they'll receive a signed letter from the President.
Check out a couple of pictures of Erna from her 111th birthday in 2019:
Speaking of birthdays, keep scrolling to check out the most famous actor born every year. Also, if you're planning a party, we want to fund the festivities. You could win up to $10,000! Go HERE to find out how.