It's hard to tell who had been anticipating Bessie Murray's 100th birthday more, Bessie herself, or her abundance of friends and family. Kathy Meland, resident manager at the Cooperative Living Center, where Bessie has lived for the past twelve years, said that residents at the independent living center started coming to her several weeks ago to remind her to contact the media about Bessie's upcoming party. They wanted it to be even bigger and better than the 99th birthday party held at the center last August in her honor.
Diann Hoedl, Bessie's granddaughter, organized the party, and personally contacted local dignitaries to invite them to attend the landmark occasion held on August 8, a day after Bessie turned 100 years old.
Diann described her grandmother as an amazing woman who was born in Ontario, Canada, orphaned at age two, raised by her Aunt Halvorson in Valley City, N.D., and who has spent the past 98 years as a proud North Dakota resident and naturalized U.S. citizen.