One by one family, friends and neighbors greeted Maxine Knudson of Redwood Falls during the afternoon of July 18, and as each one walked by she recognized them by name.
That day in the basement of the United Methodist Church in Redwood Falls Knudson celebrated her 100th birthday, and hundreds of people came to see her.
“There were people there I had not seen in 50 years,” said Knudson, adding how wonderful it was to see them all again.
In talking with Knudson one can’t help but observe what most would call an extremely positive attitude, as she constantly uses words such as “wonderful,” “pleasant” and “exciting.” That positive attitude, she agreed, has probably played a role in her reaching the life milestone.
Knudson said it was wonderful to have so much family in the area, adding many of them stayed for several days.
Knudson, was born July 18, 1913 to Mack and Lulu (Dalsgaard) Pettis in Renville.
Knudson was in first grade when the family moved to Redwood Falls. She had started first grade in Renville and already knew how to read when she began school, although she does not ever remember being taught to read at home. During her junior year in high school the family moved to Lake Crystal when her dad got a job there.
“I graduated from Lake Crystal and was valedictorian of my class,” she said.
When the company her father was working for closed its operations, the family moved back to Redwood Falls, because her father still owned a house there.
Having graduated from high school Knuds-on said she went to college in Hibbing and after finishing her teacher training closer to home Knudson took a job teaching near Gilfillan.
The two-room school house was not fully occupied, as she only needed to use one room.
She said that was nice when there was bad weather. That way they could use the other room for recess.
During her third year of teaching, Knudson married husband, Jack, and after completing that third year she stopped teaching.
“Jack worked as an apprentice to learn watch making,” said Knudson, adding eventually he got a couple of counters and shelves in a store to operate his own jewelry business.
The couple opened up their own store a few years later, and they spent 40 years in the jewelry business working side by side.
“Jack started his business at the end of the depression,” Knudson said, adding the fact he was able to succeed in that time showed just how hard he was willing to work.
Knudson recalls the days of downtown Red-wood Falls when they were in business.
Page 2 of 2 - “There was three of everything,” she said.
The Knudson couple enjoyed spending time with other business owners in town, and they became friends with many of them.
“We enjoyed being with each other and we had some pretty strong connections with many of them,” she said.
– Reeni Knudson, daughter-in-law of Maxine Knudson compiled a history of Maxine’s life. Her information contributed to this article.