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Evansville native is one of oldest living Minnesota residents

Hermina Wahlin of Evansville celebrated her 107th birthday on Saturday, November 26. The lifelong Evansville resident has lived the past four years at the Evansville Care Center, where a party was held in her honor on Saturday. She is one of the oldest residents in Minnesota, but not the oldest. There is a Barrett resident who turned 108 in June. Tara Bitzan | Echo Press

If you're looking for advice on how to live a long, healthy life, it makes sense to ask someone who has already accomplished it.

But Hermina Wahlin of Evansville - one of the oldest living residents in Minnesota - isn't going to give you much advice, because she says she has "absolutely no idea" how she did it.

Wahlin just celebrated her 107th birthday on Saturday, November 26.

"I guess maybe it's early to bed, early to rise," she said of the key to longevity.

Despite some hearing problems and some vision problems in one eye, Hermina is a spry, active gal with a phenomenal memory.

At home at the Evansville Care Center, the lifelong Evansville resident recently reminisced about life in a small town and all the changes that have occurred during her lifetime, including the coming of electricity and running water.

"There have been so many changes," she said with a shake of her head.

"I used to know everybody [in town], but now I don't know anybody. All the old-timers are gone."

She also reflected on one of the things she misses the most - spending time in service to her church by quilting, baking cookies (especially spritz) and being active in the ladies aid.

"I really miss that," she said.

Born in 1904 as Hermina Johnson, she eventually married David Wahlin and the couple raised two daughters - Delores, who resides in Evansville, and Shirley, who lives in Las Vegas.

She also has three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild in California, whom she has not met yet.

Both Hermina and David worked at the local funeral home. Hermina was there for 40 years before retiring at age 92.

"I figured I better quit now!" she said with a smile.

David also lived a healthy, active life, dying in 1998 at age 95.

"Seventy one years and five months," Hermina quickly replied when asked how long they were married. "The time went fast."

Hermina eventually left her house and moved into an apartment until moving to the Care Center just four years ago.

She still does a lot of crocheting and enjoys visiting with other residents.

She described the birthday party held in her honor Saturday as "a full house."

"I didn't want a party but they didn't listen to me," she said with an appreciative smile. "I even got a letter from the president."

On a nearby table stood a letter from President Barack Obama accompanied by his photograph, congratulating her on her milestone.

"I've got lots to be thankful for," she added.

Follow #AlexMN @EchoPress Life Editor Tara Bitzan on Twitter at @TBitzan.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

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