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Celebrating 100 Minnie Metzger recalls a century of living

MINNIE'S FOUR DAUGHTERS, Lois, Beverly, Kathy and Marlys were on hand to help her celebrate her 100th birthday last Thursday, and again on Saturday, when 46 members of her family gathered for a second celebration.1 / 2
A LARGE CROWD OF FRIENDS RELATIVES AND WELL-WISHERS gathered in the Loafers Lounge at Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes last Thursday to wish Minnie Metzger a Happy Birthday. Minnie turned 100 on Sept. 162 / 2

Minnie Metzger never misses an episode of "American Idol" or "Dancing With the Stars."

"They're really competing," she said of her reasons for favoring those shows.

She's also an avid Twins and Vikings fan, and catches their games on TV whenever she can.

She plays whist every Thursday afternoon with her friends, and she and her daughter Lois enjoy a game of bridge together on the computer whenever they get the chance.

Oh, and did we mention that she celebrated her 100th birthday last week?

"We had two parties," said Minnie. "One on Thursday for my friends, and one on Saturday where I had my family come."

That family includes four daughters -- Lois, Beverly, Kathy and Marlys -- as well as 10 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. All but a handful of them were on hand for Saturday's celebration.

"My daughters and their husbands were all there," Minnie said.

Last Thursday's celebration at Oak Crossing was packed with friends and family as well.

"I have lots of friends," Minnie said, adding that she often has visitors at Oak Crossing, both from Winchester on Washington, where she lived up until two years ago, and from the old neighborhood where she and her husband Ed lived for many years after moving to Detroit Lakes in 1960.

She and her daughters also try to get together at least once a year.

Minnie was born in St. Leo, Minn., on Sept. 16, 1910. At the age of six she moved to Munich, N.D., and she later graduated from high school there.

After graduating, "I worked in the stores and I babysat for some people," Minnie said.

She married Ed Metzger when she was 25 years old. They then moved from Munich to Calio, N.D., and eventually to Clyde, N.D., where Ed owned and operated a grain elevator. They also raised their four daughters there.

The family traveled every summer, from the East Coast to the West Coast and parts in between. They visited New York City, Washington D.C., Seattle, Wash., Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, Calif., and many more.

"There weren't too many (major cities) that we missed," Lois recalled.

Detroit Lakes was a particularly favored spot; the family would stay at Fairyland Cabins, which is how they became acquainted with the community.

In 1960, as Ed's health began to decline, his doctor told him he would need to get out of the grain elevator business, because of the dust.

"He had to do something," Minnie said, noting that he was too young to retire.

So the couple purchased Lakes Sport Shop in Detroit Lakes, and the family moved there.

Lois noted that one of the things she admired most about her parents was that "they embraced change."

"They moved when they had to move, to make their life better," she said.

They also had a lot of things in common: "They both loved to travel, they both liked to play bridge, and they both liked sports," Lois added.

After Ed passed away in 1998 -- two years after they had moved to Winchester on Washington -- Minnie continued to make her home there until moving to Oak Crossing when it opened in December 2008.

As Minnie herself once put it: "Life has been good to me in lots of ways.

"I am pretty healthy, thank goodness, and I have lots of friends and a very devoted family."  

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454