On Friday, July 21, family, friends and other residents gathered at the Sleepy Eye Care Center to wish Alma Romberg a happy 100th birthday.

On Friday, July 21, family, friends and other residents gathered at the Sleepy Eye Care Center to wish Alma Romberg a happy 100th birthday. With entertainment by members of the Sleepy Eye Area Concertina Club, and birthday cake and ice cream, a good time was had by all.

Alma sat calmly in the middle of the festivities and answered a few questions about her long life. The first question you ask a centenarian is what they did to reach the milestone birthday. Alma said she really didn’t know. Later, her sister-in-law Emily said, “She tells us she just takes it as it comes.”

Alma said she graduated from Sleepy Eye High School in 1935 and then took teacher training, which was offered at the high school at that time. “I taught in a country school near Fairfax after my training,” said Alma. She also recalled several years working in the office at Del Monte before she retired.

Family members were quick to point out that Alma had a more interesting career than the details she’d shared. “Did she tell you about Japan?” asked Emily. Alma had a civilian career with the Army during World War II, serving in Canada. After the war ended, she worked for the Army in Japan, until 1951.

Ann Romberg (wife of Alma’s nephew Don) recounted that she’d helped organize Alma’s belongings when she moved to the care center. “She had many beautiful items from Japan,” said Ann. “Of course, still carefully saved in their wrappings.”

When Alma returned from Japan, she worked at the State Bank and then Del Monte. In retirement, she was very active in the Sleepy Eye Senior Citizens group.

Alma said she likes to read and do word search puzzles. Emily said she takes part in various activities at the Care Center—including playing cards. “If there is something going on, she is here in the activity room joining in.” Alma seems to find life at the Care Center to her liking and enjoys a close friendship with her roommate.

Alma had five siblings. The five oldest were each two years apart in age: Helen Wright—mother of Marj Christensen who organized the party, Willard—who celebrated his 105th birthday several months before he passed away in December 2016, Marie and Edmund. Then came Alma, followed by their baby brother Walter, six years later.

Alma, not looking a day over 90, (or 80 for that matter) took in her 100th birthday party with a sweet smile. “It was a fun day,” said Marj. “Alma really enjoyed it.”