Lenus Johanneck celebrated his 100th birthday March 10 and held his birthday celebration the next day at the Wabasso Community Center in Wabasso. He was greeted by numerous friends and family members who came to celebrate with him.

For Johanneck, the key to his amazing longevity in his opinion is in his genes, with his mother having lived to the age of 103 and his father to the age of 89.

With nine children, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Johanneck’s extensive family provides plenty of activity. Johanneck enjoys watching television and tuning in to news broadcasts as well as spending time with family.

A member of the Wabasso High School graduating class of 1935, Johanneck was one of 10 students in his class. Johanneck recalls his early childhood memories of living on his farm in Wabasso and also attending District 75 Country School.

Born March 10, 1917 at Red Lake Falls in northern Minnesota, Johanneck’s parents later relocated to Wabasso and established the family farm a few miles north of Wabasso where Johnanneck still resides with his son Dan. 

The United States suffered through the Great Depression starting in 1929 and into the 1930s, and Johanneck can recall the dust storms that lasted a few months.

Despite the hardships of the Great Depression Johanneck and his family never went hungry. After high school he began to farm along with his wife Marie (Kramer) and started his family on the family farm. Johanneck has been a church member of St. Anne’s of Wabasso his whole life and receives communion at home.

Besides farming and spending time with family, Johanneck spends much of his time fishing, hunting deer, rabbits and foxes, trapping muskrats and also playing cards. Johanneck, like many, eased into retirement about 20 years ago.

“It wasn’t something that one just decides to do in one day,” he said. When asked how old he feels Johanneck said, “85, maybe 90, depending on the day.”

His daily ritual is quiet, simple and relaxed, often getting up at 7:30 a.m. and having cereal for breakfast. The rest of the day is filled with relaxation, television and the occasional nap before going to bed around 10 p.m.

With no specific plans for his actual birthday, Johanneck was saving all his energy and excitement for seeing his family and friends at his birthday celebration last Saturday.