Lorene Havner was born Sept. 19, 1918 at the family home in Sewal. Havner’s mother, Goldie Allen, died of blood poisoning six weeks after her birth. Her father, Ray Allen, remarried when she was nine years old.
Havner was raised on the family farm, where she had to feed the chickens every day.
“I fed the chickens, but I didn’t like the roosters!” Havner recalls.
In 1936, Havner graduated from high school in a class of 12. After graduating, she got a job at a variety store. Havner married Burris Annis Havner on April 16, 1938 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. They had three daughters; Karen, Sharon and Joyce. The three daughters now visit their mother at the senior home in Des Moines.
“I miss him so much,” she says of her late husband.
Some major differences Havner has seen in the world has been technology. When asked about specific examples, Havner mentions one invention we all take for granted.
“Everybody has electricity now,” she says.
Havner also owns a flip phone, which she uses all of the time to talk to her family.
“I wouldn’t have anything else to do without a phone,” she says. “I talk to my three girls every day.”
Back when Havner was raising her daughters, they recall her tending to her flowers and sitting on the porch swing every day.
“I had wonderful neighbors,” Havner says.
For the big upcoming birthday, her daughters are having a small party for their mother.
Birthday cards may be sent to Havner at Spurgeon Manor, 1204 Linden Street, Dallas Center, IA 50063.