Mabel Gloede, better known as Mae, celebrated her 101st birthday November 15 with nearly 30 friends from her church family, at Sunset Ridge Assisted Living Center in Johnson Creek where she lives. She is a member of the Watertown Adventist Church, and is the oldest living member on record in our conference.
The Watertown Pathfinders helped Mae celebrate by making a photo album with pictures of all the important things in her life: her home, where her son is buried, her church, Wisconsin Academy, etc. Then they enjoyed singing all Mae’s favorite hymns with her, such as “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” and “Jesus Never Fails.” They also gave her a giant 18-inch card that they made and had everyone has sign. As Mae didn’t want a sweet birthday cake, they made her a beautiful cardboard cake to enjoy at her party. When asked what she has to say about her long life she answers, “The first 100 years are the hardest.”
Born on a farm in Watertown, Wisconsin, Mae was raised attending the Seventh-day Adventist church along with her five siblings. Recalling some highlights of her childhood she said, “We always attended camp meeting in Portage. All eight of us stayed in a tent, and mom always invited other people to come stay with us too. It was crowded!”
Her father was a share-crop farmer. She remembers clearly that her father didn’t believe in tithing. One year after he had planted a large field of peas, Mae’s mom asked if she could have the loose peas that were left lying around and plant a little patch of her own in one corner of the field. Dad agreed, and Mae remembers helping her mother plant those peas. “When the time came for harvest, all of dad’s peas were buggy and bad,” recalls Mae, “But mom’s peas in the little corner didn’t have a bug on them. Mom paid title on everything, and God blessed her.” Everyone could see the benefits of tithing that year.
Mae’s favorite Bible chapter is Psalms 91, “…Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways…” She especially likes the last verse which promises, “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”
Juanita Edge, Communication Director