Happy 100th, Ethel Ausink

After graduation from Maurice High School in 1935,

Ethel went to Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

Albert Ausink was a military policeman stationed in Canada,

and his home was in Washington State.

The couple met when Ethel accepted a teaching position in Washington State.† They married on December 28th, 1945.

Ethel Hoekstra grew up in northwest Iowa,

on the family farm near the small town of Maurice.

This family photo was taken in 1982.† Three years later, in 1985, Albert Ausink suffered a heart attack and died.† In 1988 Ethel moved to Victoria to be near her children and grandchildren who were living and working in this metropolitan area.

From 1994 to 2012, Ethel Ausink wrote a† monthly column for the Victoria Gazette and thatís how we became connected.

Every year at Christmas time, I would go to Ethelís home and get a new picture for the December Christmas issue of the Gazette, to be placed with her column.† Iíve done that for all my columnists for most of these many years.

In 1992, Ethel was chosen as the Most Outstanding Senior Citizen in Carver County, even though she had only been a resident of the county four years.† Her mark in the community was obviously significant.

In 1993, Ethel was elected President of the Victoria Senior Center.

Even after Ethel moved away from Victoria in 2012, to a beautiful townhome in Excelsior, she continued to write a column for the Gazette, most often about current events on the state and national scenes.† By the way, Ethel gave piano lessons for many years when she and Albert farmed near Slayton, Minnesota, and she played the organ at church.

Readers of the Gazette followed Ethel Ausink on many adventures as she wrote about her trips to Mackinac Island, Ireland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec City, and Honduras.

Ethel also traveled to Poland and to the Holy Land ó to Israel, Bethlehem, Jordan, and Egypt.† And she attended special occasions across the country, from the east coast to the west coast, for her five children ó all of them married ó and grandchildren, some now married with children of their own.

Ethel Ausink has admirably dealt with 100 years of living that spanned more of human life than many others experience.† Hers began with driving a team of horses and progressed to driving a Honda Accord, not to mention flying around the world in a Boeing 747.

She knows firsthand about living through the Great Depression, World War II, and also about the Industrial Revolution and a modern economy.† She knows about gardening and milking cows by hand on a dairy farm and also about getting groceries and fresh produce at well-stocked supermarkets.

Only in recent months has Ethel become a resident at The Bee Hive, a lovely new memory care community in Excelsior.† Thatís where I met two of her daughters ó Corie Boyer, on the left, and Joanne Tims, on the right, and where I interviewed Ethel for a front page story in the December 2017 issue of the Victoria Gazette.

Thank you, Ethel Ausink, for gracing so many pages of the Victoria Gazette.† Happy 100th birthday.