Imagine living to be 106 years old.
One Williston resident, Thelma Allen, doesn’t need to imagine. Allen celebrated her 106th birthday at Bethel Lutheran Nursing Center on Monday.
Thelma’s birthday wish was to have a party with a live band. Her wish came true as she and residents clapped along to a folk country band from Tioga called Country Sunshine. The band featured an accordion along with a guitar, piano and tambourine. Allen loves music and played the piano at a church for 25 years.
Allen operated a beauty parlor in Williston for 55 years called “Thelma’s Beauty Box.” She has traveled “all around the world” and even saw Queen Elizabeth. She “ate in the same dining room” on a tour. She took trips across the globe “every fall and every spring.”
“My husband left me well-to-do,” she said. Her husband passed away in his 50s. She married her husband three times. They got divorced and remarried twice.
“That was enough,” she said.
They settled down “on a little farm” next to a river. Her husband raised horses.
Allen had one daughter, who is deceased.
Allen is surprisingly mobile for her age. She is able to walk by herself using a walker. One of her friends, Henry Halvorson, recalls her riding an exercise bike at age 99. She would exercise for half an hour and wasn’t going slow, either.
“You’d think the thing was going to fly,” said Halvorson.
Allen doesn’t know if she did anything to cause herself to stay alive so long.
“I’m ready to go every morning, I’m ready to go every night, and I’m still here,” she said.