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Birthday girl: I've never seen 90 dozen roses

Pauline Stowman was surprised on her 90th birthday when her family sent her 90 dozen roses. She spread the joy, giving out the flowers to others who would enjoy them as much as she did.

When Pauline Stowman left her apartment Thursday morning, she discovered buckets of roses in the dayroom at Bob Westfall's eight-plex on Third Avenue in Rothsay.

"I wondered what they were for," she said. "It was a lot of roses, and I hadn't heard about anything going on in town."

Minutes later, the apartment complex manager, Ruth Anderson, explained. "Someone's having a birthday this week."

"Then, I knew they were for me," Pauline said. "My 90th birthday is on Saturday, Dec. 18. I knew it was from my kids. I've never seen 90 dozen roses in my whole life!"

Pauline has lived in Rothsay since she and her late husband, Omer, bought Rothsay Telephone Company in 1946. She remains vice president of the business, which is now run by two of her sons, Paul Stowman of Rothsay and Wayne Stowman of Fergus Falls.

Her five children, including her oldest son, David, an attorney in Detroit Lakes, Dawn, a family practice physician who lives in Wilmington, N.C., and Dorothy, a consumer at Productive Alternatives in Fergus Falls, were raised in Rothsay. The idea to give Pauline 90 dozen roses came from the Detroit Lakes branch of the family.

"We were brainstorming and thought it would be fun to give Mother something she could share with others," David said.

Family members gathered at her apartment Thursday morning to help fill out lists of friends, relatives, local churches and businesses that would enjoy receiving roses in honor of Pauline's 90 years of life. Thursday afternoon, some of her children and grandchildren delivered them to friends in Rothsay, Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes and Moorhead.

Pauline said the gift was overwhelming.

"I've never seen so many roses in all my life. And, so many different colors!"

"What's your favorite flower?" a friend asked Thursday morning.

"Well, now, I guess it's roses!"

Story courtesy of the Barnesville Record Review.