resident of Haaland Estates celebrates 101st birthday | News, Sports, Jobs
When Bill Godman Jr. was born, Woodrow Wilson was sitting in the White House, millions of boys had just returned from duty in World War I, and doctors were making house calls.
“I was born on May 26, 1920,” Godman said from his seat in the dining room at Haaland Estates the day after his 101st birthday. âI was born at home on the farm. The doctor then made home visits.
Godman has spent all but two and a half years of his life on the family farm, which he says lies “Five miles north and one mile west of Churchs Ferry.”
Godman said his earliest memory of farm life was âNothing specific, just live on the farm and when I’m old enough, go and work on the farm. My dad was a laborer himself, so he worked with us kids from when we were of working age, milking cows and all that stuff, hauling the hay and putting it in. barn.
However, life on the farm still provided Godman and his brother with some time to have fun.
“In winter, my brother and I would go skiing and sledding” said Godman. But we didn’t have a car or money. We couldn’t go anywhere. We weren’t going to any shows or anything like that. We made our own fun.
Godman attended kindergarten through his senior year of high school in a building.
“I graduated from Irvine Consolidated School, right in the middle of Irvine Township in Benson County,” said Godman. “Our school was so small that you almost had to bend down to enter” he added with a smile.
Godman played sports while attending school, “Mainly baseball” he said. I played baseball a lot when I was young, but not much more. I played basketball a bit.
Godman said he’s always been a fan of the Minnesota Twins. A Twins badge topped her birthday cake this year.
Although Godman remained on the farm most of his life, historical events always affected him and his family.
He remembers the Dust Bowl years well. “You bet I remember the thirties” said Godman. âI remember the wind and the dust and the haze and a lot of bad things. I had to keep the cattle because there was no grass in the pasture. I chased them away. We had some grass in the pasture, but not enough to support them. We put hay for them when we could. I was a little young for that but I still helped. he said, adding, “Things got better in 1937.”
Godman said his family mainly farmed horses and with their hands when he was young. His father bought their first tractor in 1935.
When the United States declared war on Axis forces in 1941, Godman and many young men from North Dakota traveled to Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
“A group of us went to Fort Snelling and took our medicals and they told us to come home,” said Godman. âThen I got a letter from the editorial board, which most of our boys did, and the letter said, ‘You’re class A and you can’t go. “
Godman and other farmers have received project postponements due to their critical role in providing the nation with food.
Godman said he remembered civilian life well during the war. “My father had to get a certificate or an authorization to buy tires” Godman called back. âYou couldn’t buy a car. Fortunately, dad bought a tractor before the war. So we weren’t too bad.
In 1946 Godman married Elaine Lorenz, who had grown up in Lawton Township, east of Devils Lake. The Godmans’ marriage lasted until Elaine’s death 63 years later.
Elaine and Bill had five children, “two boys and three girls”, said Godman. âThey all grew up on the farm.
“They went to college and got jobs away from home and they have their own house,” Godman added. âRichard lives in Devils Lake, Don in Cando, Cindy lives in Rugby and I have one in Minneapolis, Barbara. Judith lives in Catawissa, Pennsylvania.
Godman has stated that his daughter Judith’s last name is Lease and Barbara’s last name is Kluzak. Her daughter, Cindy Schwartz, lives in Rugby, where she works in the sales office at Heart of America Medical Center.
“I have six grandchildren and a great-grandchild” said Godman.
A coloring page filled in in green marker by Godman’s great-grandson Nathan Veit hangs on the door to Godman’s bedroom. The page reads, âHappy 100th birthday! “
“I rent my farm now” Godman added. âI have 500 acres underwater. What remains, I rent to my neighbor.
The lands of the Churchs Ferry area have been prone to flooding for over 20 years.
Godman moved to Haaland Estates two and a half years ago after falling on the ice. He had already given up driving his car and tractor because of poor eyesight.
He settled into the facility, made new friends, and discovered he was good at beanbag-throwing games. “Even with my poor eyesight” he said. Godman also enjoys a good game of bingo.
Godman called the technological advancements he saw on the farm and elsewhere over the century “huge.”
Does he have the secret of a long life?
“I can’t really answer that because I don’t know” he has answered. Godman said his father died at age 90. Her brother lived 94 years and her mother died at age 80. “I don’t know why I lived so long” he said, adding, “I have never smoked or drunk, neither.” Godman said he had been an active member of the Methodist Church his entire life.
Keeping close ties with her children and family could also explain her longevity, according to Tammy Tufte, chief operating officer of Haaland Estates.
“He gets emails almost every day from his kids and we read them to him and he gets very emotional,” said Tufte. “Every day he receives phone calls from his children.”
Godman said his kids call on a schedule, so he knows how to expect their calls in the afternoon.
“If you do something and they call, you’re running like dickens to get that phone, right?” “ said Tufte, smiling.
âHe loves his children. He really enjoys talking about his children. said Tufte, looking at Godman.
“Don’t cry now” Tufte told him with a gentle smile.
Godman’s eyes filled with tears.
“He is very sentimental” Tufte explained, adding, “Maybe the love for his family kept him going.”
“I get emotional when I talk about my family” said Godman. “They were all good kids.”
After a pause, Godman added, âI have no idea what my secret could be. I never dreamed that I would live this long.