Bio: Anason, Nettie (100th Birthday - 2013)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Anason, Fry

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 9/11/2013

Anason, Nettie (100th Birthday – 4 September 2013)

Nettie Anason of Neillsville celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2103. In honor of her birthday, family members and friends gathered for a party Aug. 31 at Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation, where Nettie has resided for the past three years. Pictured with Nettie are her immediate family members, son Oliver Anason and his wife Elizabeth (l) and son Lamoine Anason and his wife Carol.

By Todd Schmidt

There was a big party Aug. 31, at Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation in honor of Nettie Anason, who turned 100 years old Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013.

Many of her 11 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren attended the event with their families and friends. Prior to the start of the party, Nettie’s immediate family gathered in her cozy room to reminisce about her colorful life.

Nettie’s sons Oliver (wife Elizabeth) and Lamoine (wife Carol) participated in the discussion.

Nettie Fry was born Sept. 4, 1913, in the Cazenovia area of Richland County. The was the oldest girl of six children (three brothers and two sisters). Nettie attended the rural country school through the eighth grade.

She was raised as a true farm girl.

“I did everything around the farm,” Nettie recalled. “I worked outside and milked 10 to 12 cows twice a day, all by hand. That’s why my hands are so sore now.”

Her chores included driving a tractor for haying and other fieldwork and cleaning the barn. In the earlier days, the family did a lot of the work with horses. Nettie giggled when she remembered the day one of the horses got loose; she had to chase it down the road to catch it.

Cooking, baking and housework were also chores on Nettie’s daily list. She also did cleaning work for aunts and other people.

Nettie met her future husband Maynard at a barn dance held by his sister. They were wed Feb. 18, 1933, following a two-year courtship. They eventually had two sons.

“We decided two kids was enough,” she said.

Lamoine said his mother purchased her wedding dress for $3 out of a Montgomery Ward Catalog. Maynard’s suit cost $5, which he raised by hauling a load of their homegrown potatoes to Chicago.

“I remember them telling about selling enough potatoes and pickles to buy a 1931 Model A Ford,” Oliver said. “The car cost $550, and they paid an extra $5 to get a water gauge put on.”

The family farmed south of New Lisbon until 1941. Then they purchased an 80-acre farm on Owen Avenue south of Neillsville. There they regularly milked 15-20 cows, raised chickens and pigs and tended a huge garden. Nettie spoke fondly of her two favorite horses, Maude and Queen.

As the boys got more involved in the farm, Maynard took a position at the local feed mill. In the mid 1950’s Nettie got a job at the local hospital. She ended up working at Memorial Medical Center (MMC) for 33 years as a nurse’s aide and a medical records ward clerk.

“She actually trained many of the aides who are taking care of her now,” Lamoine said.

Their recreation included attending many dances on weekends. They were regulars at the Bohemian Hall and the Silver Dome Ballroom, favoring polkas and waltzes.

Nettie still found time to be a leader with the Pleasant Ridge 4-H Club. She recalled making a wedding dress for one of the 4-H members.

“She made her own clothes forever,” Carol said. “Some of them were made out of flour sacks.”

They were dedicated members of St. John ‘s Lutheran Church, joining in 1942. Lamoine said over the years, pastors of the church have gladly served communion for Nettie.

Upon their retirement, Maynard and Nettie did a lot of traveling all over the United States. The list of destinations included Disney World in Florida, the Badlands, Yellowstone Park, Mount Rushmore and Sequoia National Park. A favorite stop was Wall Drug in South Dakota.

Nettie still had time for many hobbies, including crocheting, quilting, making blankets and canning. Homemade candy and doughnuts became family favorites, particularly at Christmastime.

Maynard and Nettie moved to the city of Neillsville in 1990. They observed their 67th wedding anniversary in 2000, the year Maynard passed away. Nettie continued to live on her own in the apartment until age 94, when she moved to the MMC assisted living facility. She then relocated to Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation approximately three years ago.

“I say it was hard work, my Christian faith and my Irish heritage,” she said. “Plus, I always had a good sense of humor.”



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