LITTLETON, Colo. — Minna Bobby was born Jan. 14, 1915 in the small town of Oketo, Kansas.
More than a century later, Bobby is still blowing out the candles, even if it takes a couple of tries. “Practice makes perfect,” she joked.
This year, Bobby turned 107 years old, and she was able to celebrate with friends and family at MorningStar Assisted Living and Memory Care in Littleton, where she has lived for the past 10 years.
Minna Bobby turns 107
The celebration was a walk through memory lane in many ways, with family members combing through photo albums and listening intently to Bobby’s stories of her childhood on the farm.
Bobby was one of five daughters, she explained, and they were all put to work. “I was the one that raised the chickens, and I had to milk cows every morning and every night,” she recalled. “All that farm stuff.”
One of Bobby’s favorite memories happened during her high school years when her friend, Rosalie, stayed the night one weekend. When they woke up, Bobby explained that she had to go tend to the animals.
“[Rosalie] came over to me and said … ‘You have to milk cows on Sunday morning too?!’” Bobby recalled with a smile. “I never will forget that. That was so funny.”
Bobby’s family, including her son Bill, are always impressed by her crystal clear memory and sharp wit.
“It’s incredible that somebody can have that knowledge she has and that wit,” Bill said, adding that his mother still cracks jokes. “She can recall things that I don’t even have any knowledge of what she’s talking about.”
Bill was named after his father, Bill Bobby Sr. He and Minna met when Minna was a young woman working as a beauty operator. Each day on the way to work, she would walk in front of the grocery store where Bill Sr. worked. He was always eager to talk with Minna.
“One time Bill had an apple, so he came to the door and threw the apple clear across the street. Anything to get my attention,” she said with a chuckle.
The two were eventually married on the same farm where Bobby grew up, and moved to Colorado in 1941. They were together for 68 years. “And I think it was a good idea,” she said with a smile.
Minna and Bill Sr. had two sons, and she never lost her penchant for working outside; her favorite hobby is gardening, and she loves violets. The flowers even adorned her birthday cake for her 107th birthday.
“I think I've been very fortunate in many ways,” Bobby said on her birthday. “There have been disappointments of course … But I’m very lucky.”
Julio Sandoval is a multimedia journalist at Rocky Mountain PBS. His wife works at the center where Minna lives. If you'd like to reach Julio, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.