Marjorie Hawkinson

When asked, to what do you attribute your longevity, Marjorie Hawkinson replied, “It must be my family heritage.” She named many family members that lived into their 90s. Her father lived to be 93, and her mother was 95 when she passed. 

Marjorie was raised on a farm in Nebraska. She had two older brothers and two younger sisters. She and her siblings had to milk cows before they could go to school in the morning. Her family bought a farm near Brook Park just before Pearl Harbor happened. 

Marjorie met and married Kenneth Hawkinson in 1948. Their family consisted of their oldest son Dick who succumbed to cancer in 2011, second son, Cory, daughter Barb, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  

The Hawkinsons lived on the farm where Kenneth grew up. They had dairy cows for many years, and rather than upgrading their dairy operation, they switched to feeder cattle. “I said I would never marry a farmer,” Marjorie declared. “Then I went and married a farmer!”

Along with being a farmer, Kenneth took training in welding at Pine City Vocational college. He worked as a welder for 13 years.

Marjorie wanted to retire from farming, but Kenneth wasn’t budging. She told this story: “We were at a mortuary for the visitation of a friend. I said to a neighbor, ‘I just can’t get that old guy off the farm.’” 

Kenneth was just behind her and heard her comment. He replied, “That’s not true. I will not spend one more winter on that farm!” The Hawkinson’s sold their farm in 2011.

After hunting for the right apartment, they found just what they were looking for at Northridge Apartments.

Due to health issues, Kenneth had to spend his last days at Lakeside Nursing Home. For some time, COVID prevented Marjorie from visiting him, a sad time for both of them. Kenneth passed away on May 17, 2020 just a few weeks after their 72nd wedding anniversary. “I prayed that he would go peacefully, and he did. I was with him holding his hand,” she reflected wistfully.

Over the years, Marjorie worked as secretary to the high school principal for three years and as a clerk for the court system for 30 years. She worked at the Sears catalog store for a time then as a nurse’s aide at the elementary school nurse’s office for five years. 

Marjorie retired from working at a regular job at age 70, but she didn’t really retire. Armed with tapes, bulletins, and devotional material from Zion Lutheran Church, where she attended for 39 years, she visited folks in nursing homes and those who are homebound. “COVID has been tough on shut-ins,” she lamented. “They get so lonesome. They need company.” 

On March 12, Marjorie’s daughter Barb organized a celebration for Marjorie’s 94th birthday at the Pizza Pub that was attended by more than 70 friends and family members. 

“What an honor it was for me to have so many people show up,” Marjorie expressed with gratitude. “Life has been good. There were some hard times, of course. It’s been a real blessing to have my health, my family and friends. I’m the only one of my siblings left, and I’m still here for some reason. I haven’t figured that out yet.”

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