By Barry Hoff | Bloomer Advance
This year’s parade marshal for the New Auburn Jamboree Days parade on Sunday, July 28 was Verna Klemish.
Verna, who lives in rural New Auburn, turned 100 years old on Feb. 23, 2019. The New Auburn Parks Commission and New Auburn area residents were thrilled to see her riding in the parade as dozens of people filmed her go by with their cell phones.
However, Verna remembers the days when they had no electricity and they milked cows by hand with light from lanterns.
Although our interview was cut short by noise from the crowd, the D.J., and the downpour of rain on the tin roof of the pavilion—that came, thankfully, after the parade was over—Verna did share with me that she credits her long life to working hard and staying active.
She said that she has worked hard all of her life from the time she was little.
“My father would give us age appropriate jobs to do,” she said of growing up in the “wilderness” near Sand Creek.
She recalled being sent to fill a milk pail with blueberries, “It took a lot of blueberries to fill a pail,” she said. She also said that their farm was very hilly and had two levels and different varieties of blueberries grew on the different levels.
Verna married Vernon Klemish in 1942 and moved to his home farm in Auburn township in Chippewa county. The couple raised two children on the farm, Randy and Luanne. In addition to her two children, Verna now has five grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
Verna worked hard on the farm helping with everything from making hay to picking rock, and she taught school for many years including at St. Paul’s in Bloomer in the 1970s.
When asked about turning 100, she said she was only half a year away from turning 101. Early this year she said in an article for “The Country Today” that she hopes to spend many more days in her home on the farm where she lives independently in a trailer next door to her son.
“Only the Lord knows,” she told the reporter. “I thank Him every day for being with me.”
Congratulations to Verna on her 100 and 1/2 years and on being chosen the 2019 Jamboree Days parade marshal.