If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
by Missy Klatt
GLENWOOD CITY — This past Saturday, August 6th, family and friends of Helen Krizan gathered at the Glenwood City Community Center for a special birthday celebration for a special lady who turned 100 years old on Friday the fifth.
Helen, who was born Helen Slotvig, was the second of eight children born to Ole and Mary Slotvig. Helen was born at home in Downing but her early years were spent growing up in Glenwood City. Of those eight children, Helen and her younger brother, Phil, by 17 years are the only two living.
Helen is a graduate of the Glenwood City High School Class of 1940. A wonderful surprise was when…., a fellow classmate of Helen’s came to her party.
Helen made the comment that she hated the Slotvig name. When asked if she liked Krizan any better she replied “oh a little better, it was easier.”
Helen married Arthur “Art” Krizan in May of 1944 and she moved out of the “city” to Emerald where they farmed for three years before moving to Downing where they continued life on the farm. Life was a bit different on the farm from city life especially when they milked the cows by hand until several years later when they got a machine. Helen comments about her years on the farm, “I learned all the tricks.” She also drove the horses.
Helen and Art had three kids, Jean, Linda and Pete. Helen also has seven grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. Most of who were on hand to help her celebrate.
Besides working at home on the farm, Helen worked out for many years. She worked at Minneapolis Honeywell, the Box Factory in Downing, McMillians and the Friday Canning Company in New Richmond. Helen worked at the canning company till she was 80 years old.
When asked the proverbial question as to what’s brought her to this milestone age she replied emphatically, “hard work”, I did a lot of that. She also stated that there is some longevity in the family with her grandmother living to the age of 96 and her dad 95.
Bowling and Bingo were/are two of Helen’s passions. She also liked to go to dances. Over the years she was also involved with the ladies aid at church. Helen is currently the oldest member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church both in age and in membership. She was baptized in October of 1922 at Our Saviors which was one of the churches that merged to make up Holy Cross.
For a while she was a member of a homemakers group but she states that it was here and there when she had time. Typical of a farm wife from that era, Helen also did a lot of canning and she baked! Daughter Linda said that the neighbors would smell it and come in. Linda went on to say that she made doughnuts, long johns, bismarcks and bread. Helen noted that she loved to bake.
Some of the changes that Helen made note of over the years was that when they were little they didn’t have new clothes all the time. Her mother sewed a lot of their clothes. When she had children of her own Helen said she also sewed some clothes for the girls but ‘not the boy’ when they were little.
As for automobiles, they didn’t have much, she states “we just had a model T”, the first car that she can remember having. When they first moved to the farm they didn’t have a telephone right away but later.
They had a party line. Helen related the story that when Art cut his fingers off in the silo filler, everyone along the line knew it before she did.
When asked what she’s learned over the last hundred years, Helen jokes ”probably not much” and she continues “how to be ornery. I learned how to do a lot of things; my sewing, my baking, cleaning, lots of cleaning down on your hands and knees scrubbing floors. It wasn’t easy but we made it.”
When talking about her upcoming 100th birthday party, she recalls that the earliest birthday party she can remember was when she was eight years old. She even recalls some of the kids that came. She comments, “It was fun growing up” and one of her favorite things to do as a child was to play hopscotch.
Some advice that she wants to share with everyone is “try and get along.” She said all this fighting back and forth on TV isn’t good. “We need the old TV back, that’s what we need”, the old TV shows not the stuff they put on today.
Helen remarks that some of the worst things about getting older is losing her eyesight and her hearing, “They all kind of went together.” Despite this Helen is a delightful lady who seems to have a positive outlook on life.