For many, the milestone birthday of turning 90 years old may never be, but for Della Young it became a celebration of reality over Labor Day weekend. Born Sept. 8, 1926 in Racine, Minn. and raised as a farm gal, Young calls Hawthorne her true home. After living here for 64 years and raising her son Gary and daughter Linda within the town’s schools, even today she applauds the supportive nature of a small town environment.
“I was raised on a 220 acre farm with animals everywhere. We were poor but didn’t know it. Our cows were milked, our sheep provided wool. We ate the things we grew like corn and oats, while my dad sold alfalfa – but we went through the Depression which caused a lot of hardship on people. Our family was self-sustaining. Somehow my dad made it work for us and we made it through but it wasn’t easy. My parents raised four of us girls, me being the youngest.”
Young shared the loss of her dear husband, Bud Young, who died Dec. 3, 2015 at the Mt. Grant Assisted Living Facility. From the moment he was admitted, she was visiting the facility every day. While her husband remained in the facility, Young found herself venturing out to visit other residents, while encouraging the staff members daily.
Following the death of her husband Young realized she needed to keep the visits going at the assisted living facility. It became a place to give back and make others feel loved and wanted. With a small group of other women, Young continues to assist staff, feed patients, visit with them and add a warm smile to their path every other day.
As her birthday was celebrated at Hawthorne’s Presbyterian Church, five generations joined her at the table. Young played with her two-year-old, great-great grandson named Laumann who adored the pink balloons in the birthday themed decor. But in the style of this honored woman, Young stood up, calling her friends who shared the same birthday month to join her up front. Then she included friends that had also turned 90, as she lead all those in attendance in the Happy Birthday song.
Even in her own special moment, she shared a gift with close friends and family which is just the way she wanted it.