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An Amazing Woman turns 80


A Tough Cookie
Today is my mother’s 80th birthday. Born 1 hour north of Duluth by modern measures, she was premature… only 3-1/2 lb. That year, babies of her status had about a 2% chance of survival.

Many things conspired in her favor, and somehow she made it. She still is tough. It also helped a lot that her mother was a Public Health pioneer who was raised by a midwife. Grandma’s father had also been a preemie, and she grew up with family stories of how they had helped him thrive when he was first born.

A Reading Teacher/ Author/ Illustrator
Mom’s parents were both educators. She followed in their footsteps.

As a child she struggled to read and spell, while her younger sister was County Spelling Bee champion. We now understand her struggles as dyslexia. This challenge, in the end, made her a patient teacher of reading. She taught 30 years, most of them in 1st Grade.

IMG_1909.JPGMom taught hundreds of children to read. While looking for ways to help strugglers, she developed a series of 4 very-beginning reader books. She both wrote and illustrated these charming stories. A few years ago i helped her make those books available to the world via Lulu.com

A Dancer/ Athlete
Mom has always loved dancing. She and Fred dance at least once a week. I remember her ironing to dance music on the turntable in the 60’s. (She won the State of Minnesota Mary Proctor Better Ironing Award as a youth. Yes, that was a thing.)

Mom and her partner Fred win multiple dancing medals each year in the Polk County Senior Games. Mom also started running the 50-yd and 100-yd dashes after she kicked cancer 18 years ago.

This last February, she won the trophy-award for the top athlete in the games, for females in her age group. Look at these awards!!!

A Celebration
Mom’s kids & spouses are throwing her a party this weekend. A bit of cake, fruit, punch and a lot of hugs should make a lovely event.

Please join me in celebrating the birthday of the tough, feisty, amazing Liz Troldahl. As she always says, “Any day above the daisies is a good day!”

Would you consider leaving Mom a birthday greeting in the comments today? I know it would touch her heart to hear from you. Thanks.


8 Responses to “An Amazing Woman turns 80”

  1. Jan Says:

    Oh how I wish I could be there for the celebration! I adopted your mom as one of my ‘other mothers’ years ago, she’s such an inspiration to me!

    Please, when you talk to her, tell her the daughter she never knew she had, from PA, wishes her the happiest of birthdays!


  2. Heidi Hill Says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I hope your day is blessed, and many more to come!!!

  3. Mary Milhaupt Says:

    Happy Birthday! You sure are one amazing woman.

    Special thanks for bringing Lynn into all our lives. She’s a real gem!


  4. Bill Bartilson Says:

    What a great story! I wish you the best, and thank you for bringing that wonderful daughter of yours into our world.

    Happy Happy Birthday to you, and many happy returns!


  5. Kelly Boyle Says:

    Happy Big Birthday, Liz!
    Wishing you a year of unbridled joy and creativity!

  6. Helen Sanders Says:

    Happy Birthday Lynn’s Mom. You certainly are an amazing woman as is your precious daughter. Enjoy the day with your family and friends and have another great year.

  7. Mary Kay Says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday to an amazing woman!!! I loved reading a little about you.

  8. Charles Stearns Says:

    I knew Pete very well as a cadet classmate