Local WWII vet thrives among friends, family and fellow service members

Fred Marwig lived through the Great Depression and served in World War II, then raised eight children with his wife. Today, at 93, Fred swims three times a week, drives a motor scooter around the neighborhood, and plays poker, dominoes and cribbage with his friends at SilverCreek on Main in Maple Grove. He also fishes,…

Getting older but not feeling old

Jill Ballard of Randolph Township, a community of about 500 residents in southeast Minnesota, says one of the positives of aging is having the time to more fully embrace life. “Having time to explore new things, volunteer, enjoy my family and teach fifth-grade church school is the best part about getting older,” says Jill. “The…

Simple ways to age more nimbly

People sometimes get a little intimidated by the juxtaposition of the words karate, exercise and older citizens. No need to be worried. Karate or other forms of exercise can be pretty easy once you get the hang of it. For instance, one very popular piece of advice for new students to my class is: “Do…

I just turned 65. Now what?

I turned 65 last December and threw a party for myself. Sounds strange to “throw a party for yourself,” but at 65, you really can do whatever you want. For this birthday, I was either going to coast in under the radar, or just tell everybody – I’m a senior now! The truth is, I…

Minnesota senior enjoys time with five generations

The aging journey looks different for each senior and every family. For Jeanne Kragt-Barchinger, a senior from Milaca, the best parts of getting older are spending time with family and not having to get up early and work hard all day. “I have 20 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren to love and enjoy,” says…

Not retirement, but “refirement”

Minnesotan Grant Meidal is beginning to imagine life moving forward in a different way. Although still working full-time, Grant recently turned 65. “I’m slowing down on some of the projects I take on, going deeper in things I’ve always loved and valued, imagining what new things I want to do, and then finally investing in…

Seniors karate chop aging stereotypes

The shocked intake of breath from the third degree black belt karate judge was frankly, very gratifying. We were there to judge my first class of senior citizens for their gold belts. The ages of the students ranged from 64 to 73 years of age—one had even had a hip replacement. None of the judges,…

Do you hear what I hear?

“Marilyn, take these water jugs downstairs for the fallout shelter.” “Ok, Mom,” I responded. What I really wanted to say was, “Mom, it’s dark down there. It smells bad. The black water in the sub pump scares me. And the water is so heavy. Can’t someone else do this, please?” But, of course, as a…

Continuing to embrace technology… at 92!

Woodbury Senior Living resident Verna Toso loves her iPhone. With four sons, six grandsons and two great-granddaughters, the 92-year-old enjoys keeping in touch with her family and seeing photos of the kids, including her one-year-old great-granddaughter who lives out of state. While working for General Mills in the late 1980s, Verna delayed her retirement plans…