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Charles Korinta, left, and Vivian Lee were named as Becker County’s Outstanding Senior Citizens for 2012 at last year’s county fair. They, along with the current crop of 2013 Outstanding Senior nominees, will be honored during a special recognition event this Thursday at Union Central in Detroit Lakes. The 2013 Becker County Outstanding Seniors will be crowned during county fair festivities in August. Vicki Gerdes/TRIBUNE

Outstanding seniors of past, present to be honored

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Outstanding seniors of past, present to be honored
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Every year since 1973, the Becker County Fair has celebrated senior volunteerism by selecting two Outstanding Senior Citizens - one man, one woman - to represent the county at the Minnesota State Fair in August.


This year, the winners will be selected from among a pool of four nominees, all from the Detroit Lakes area.

Becker County Outstanding Senior 2013 nominees Mavis Lage, Donna Zimmerman, Ken Holt and Bob Sonnenberg will be honored Thursday, July 18, at a special recognition luncheon in Union Central Senior Living, starting at 2 p.m.

“All past winners and present nominees are invited to bring their family and friends to come enjoy ice cream, cake and live entertainment, and to help celebrate senior volunteerism,” said Karen Lenius, Becker County coordinator on Aging, who organizes the annual event.

The Minnesota Outstanding Senior Citizen competition is sponsored each year by the Minnesota Board on Aging, State Fair Board and the Minnesota Federation of County Fairs.

Locally, the competition is sponsored by the Becker County Council on Aging and the Becker County Fair Board.

Nominations of county residents, age 70 and older, are solicited from various individuals, community agencies and organizations.

Nominees must all be Becker County residents and must have reached the age of 70 by June 1 of the year in which they are nominated.

From this pool of nominees, one man and one woman are selected each year. The winners are given the opportunity to enjoy a free trip to the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul, during Senior Day festivities there.

They will also be representing the county in the Minnesota Outstanding Senior Citizen competition, which is traditionally held on that day, Lenius noted.

“Judging for the award is based on the number and variety of contributions nominees have made after age 70,” she said. “Each year since 1973, two seniors have been chosen to serve as an example to others in the county.”

Besides representing Becker County in the state competition, and taking part in the State Fair awards ceremony, nominees also receive special certificates and commendations from the governor of Minnesota.

Union Central Senior Living is located at 307 Lake Ave. in Detroit Lakes. For more information about the Outstanding Senior program, please contact Karen Lenius at Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership, 218-847-1385.

Past Outstanding Seniors

Past winners of the Becker County Outstanding Senior Citizen title read like a “Who’s Who” of the lakes area senior community over the past 40 years. They include the following:

  • 1973: Georgianna Selkirk, White Earth, and John Dahl, Detroit Lakes.
  • 1974: Hazel Farnam, Detroit Lakes and Pastor George Dirks, Osage.
  • 1975: Mrs. D.W. Daggett of Frazee and Pastor Rueben Rock, Ponsford.
  • 1976: Irene Vizenor, Ogema, and Carl Jacobson, Audubon.
  • 1977: Myrtle Johnson, Detroit Lakes, and Lew Kent, Ogema.
  • 1978: Idela Rindy and Conrad Ohman, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1979: Pearl Sexton of Osage and Pastor Elmer Johnson, Detroit Lakes.
  • 1980: Rose Cummings and Herman Hulin, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1981: Edna Dallum and Sheldon Solheim, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1982: Evelyn McCanna and Byron Allen, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1983: Dorothy Carlson of Ogema and Clarence Illg, Frazee.
  • 1984: Alice Nordstrom and George Simpson, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1985: Doris Moe of Audubon and Orris Christensen, Lake Park.
  • 1986: Rae Klomstad, Detroit Lakes, and Arnold Haukebo, Frazee.
  • 1987: Helen Benshoff and Henry Gjersvig, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1988: Mildred Elton, Audubon, and Harley Schooler, Detroit Lakes.
  • 1989: Eleanor Trieglaff and Vernon Daggett, both of Frazee.
  • 1990: Delores Belz and Charles Askegaard, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1991: Mildred Otway, Detroit Lakes, and Harald Hendrichsen, Lake Park.
  • 1992: Gladys Holt and Norman Erickson, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1993: Ruth Helgerson and Robert Irvine, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1994: Dorothy Bratlie and Roger Roy, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1995: Marie Lundberg and Herb Flatt, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1996: Marge Bergquist of Detroit Lakes and Amer Froysland, Audubon.
  • 1997: Harriet Davis and John Jacoby, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 1998: Millie Berg, Lake Park, and James Dorrance, Detroit Lakes.
  • 1999: Clara Lysaker and Jim Love, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 2000: Ellen Johnson, Audubon, and Charles Rew, Frazee.
  • 2001: Anna Schlauderaff, Detroit Lakes, and Albert Fischer, Frazee.
  • 2002: Arlene Veronen, Detroit Lakes, and Earl Johnson, Aujdubon.
  • 2003: Gloria Buhaug, Lake Park, and Rome Villiard, Detroit Lakes.
  • 2004: Marion Jacobson, Lake Park, and Erling Kolke, Audubon.
  • 2005: Marion Schattschneider and Hal O’Connor, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 2006: Sally Hausken and Arlie Shodean, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 2007: Dorothy Harsh, Lake Park, and Howard Westlie, Detroit Lakes.
  • 2008: Catherine Davis, Lake Park, and John Downs, Detroit Lakes.
  • 2009: Solveig Nordsletten and Leonard Thielen, both of Detroit Lakes.
  • 2010: Luetta Dankert Shodean, Detroit Lakes, and Jim Lamont, Frazee.
  • 2011: Cecilia Ziegler, Frazee, and Mike Wammer, Lake Park.
  • 2012: Vivian Lee and Charles Korinta, both of Detroit Lakes.

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes
Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 14 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as obituaries. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.
(218) 844-1454