With her official 100th birthday March 27, Margit Andersson of Homer was honored by family and friends with a celebration at the Homer Senior Center on Saturday. Andersson shared the honors with her friend, Edna Farsdahl of Homer, who turns 100 in June.
Andersson’s sons — Lars of Connecticut and Ole of Homer — and Ole’s wife, Jane “Jinky” Handy, helped organize the party, which included a dinner of shrimp scampi and roast beef.
Dessert honored Andersson’s homeland, Norway, with a traditional cake known as “kransekake” that is served at special celebrations. Peach cobbler and ice cream also were served.
Kachemak Bay Country Band kept the dance floor busy with music throughout the evening.
Special entertainment was a play highlighting the acting talents of city of Homer Mayor Beth Wythe and former Mayor Jim Hornaday performing as the King of Norway.
“There were no auditions. We had a casting call and those were the names we came up with,” said Lars Andersson, who, along with Handy, wrote the skit.
Andersson was born in Norway and came to the United States in 1950.
“She had a spirit of adventure to try new things,” said Lars Andersson.
“She came here to work and was in hotel management, and then met my dad. The rest is history.”
From 2008-2010, Andersson spent the summers in Homer and in 2012 moved to the area, where she now lives in an apartment near the senior center.
Farsdahl came to Alaska in the 1930s from the North Dakota farm country, according to her daughter, Rene Jahnke. Traveling by steamship, Farsdahl arrived in Haines and worked at an orphanage there until she saved enough to finance her continued education at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
One of seven students in her graduating class, Farsdahl earned a teaching degree and taught school for 25 years.
“We had a cabin here (in Homer) from about 1950 and lived here sporadically every summer,” said Jahnke. “She (Farsdahl) started living here fulltime in the 1970s and now lives in the homestead cabin.”
Another party is planned on Farsdahl’s birthday in June.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.