In the past two months, there’s been a lot of celebrating at Stonehaven of Eagan.
Two of its residents recently turned 100 years old – Bernice Epping on Oct. 13 and Tony Malerich on Nov. 7.
For the occasions, the newspaper sent some questions to Bernice and Tony. Following are their answers:
What is your secret to living a long, active life?
Bernice: Take one day at a time … in other words don’t worry about the future. Enjoy today.
Tony: Staying alive, my wife Marge, lots of exercise, power naps while working, being religious.
Where did you grow up? What are some of the other places you lived?
Bernice: Grew up on a farm in Brighton, Wisconsin, in Kenosha County with my eight siblings. Then moved to Union Grove, Wisconsin, and then to Kenosha for husband’s job and educational opportunities for our children.
Tony: Minneapolis, Caledonia, Minnesota; Richarton, North Dakota, Shakopee, Minnesota, and Northern Minnesota
What are your earliest childhood memories?
Bernice: Playing hide and seek on the farm. Believing trolls lived under our creek bridge from a first-grade book we read in class. Eager to help with chores on the farm.
Tony: I climbed the water tower and the fire department had to get me down.
How would you finish the sentence - Back in my day ...
Bernice: Morals and values were taught. Religion was an important part of our daily life. It gave meaning to my life. Also, on the farm we learned the value of both hard work and play time.
Tony: we went to the farm and milked cows, then we slept four people in a bed sideways.
What were some of the jobs, volunteering you did in your life?
Bernice: Together my husband and I raised six children who were educated and became mature, productive members of society. After they were out of the house, I would help teachers with odd and end things that would benefit their classroom.
Tony: Family practitioner, Eucharistic minister, lector, Sharing & Caring Hands, Al-Anon speaker, Hospice volunteer
What are some of the memorable moments in your life that you’d like people to know? Describe the scene, what did you feel, who was with you, what was the result of the moment?
Bernice: My farm softball team went to state fair and we won. I usually played catcher. Marriage to my good husband. Raising my six children and being proud of their accomplishments. Took a trip to Kentucky to see family and my great great grandchild in April. My recent visit of my three sisters who are still alive and all over 90 (I’m 100, another 97 in November, another 95 on Oct. 28, and yet another 91). Also, that my granddaughter (Lisa Shaffer) wrote a song in honor of my 100th birthday that morphed into an 18-minute video of my life. How exciting!
Tony: I was a World War II fighter pilot and my plane went down in the Pacific. I was picked up a day later.
Who is in your family? What are some of the activities your family enjoy?
Bernice: Three living siblings; six children, all married; 20 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and earlier this year a great great grandchild. So any family time is precious time. I’ve always have enjoyed card games and loved scramble but with macular degeneration affecting my eyesight it can be too hard now.
Tony: My wife is Marge. I have three daughters: Leah, Danette and Toni Marie. I have a sister named Carmelle, 14 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Anything else you would like to share?
Bernice: Staying active and everything in moderation is important too. Feel very blessed.
Tony: Tony is a jokester! His motto in life is: Live for today and don’t worry about tomorrow.