Still racing around at 105 years young
Am I still newsworthy?” Ike Enderson responds, when asked if it is OK to take his picture for the paper.
The answer is, “yes,” he still is.
Enderson turned 105 years old on Sunday, making him the oldest resident of Faribault County.
Born Isaac Enderson in Hamilton County, Iowa, Ike acknowledges the records show he was born on April 10 in 1906.
“That is when my mother got tired of lugging me around and kicked me out,” he says with a smile.
His life story has been related several times in the past in the pages of the Faribault County Register.
Ike is the second youngest in a family of 16.
He graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield in 1929, a fact he is quite proud of, since he had to work hard to put himself through school.
He married his beloved wife, Hazel, and they had three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His children are in their 60s and 70s and retired.
It was in the 1950s that Ike and Hazel moved to Blue Earth where Ike ran an appliance and plumbing business. He sold it in 1970, became semi-retired, but continued to work out of his home for many more years.
In 1990 he officially retired and he and Hazel did a lot of traveling and spent winters in Arizona.
After her death, Ike stayed in Blue Earth year round.
Things have changed for Ike since his last interview for the paper three years ago.
At that time he was still living in his home, driving around town, spending time at the senior center and getting along well.
Now, he is a resident at St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center. He is still doing a lot of driving, but it is around the halls at St. Luke’s in a motorized wheel chair.
He has been known to receive warnings from the staff to ‘slow down.’ When asked about the speeding violations, his answer was a smile.
Enderson is an active member of the St. Luke’s community, taking part in all of the activities.
“It is great to have a nice place like this for old relics like me to come to,” he says. “It’s a pretty nice place to live. They take care of our needs. But, I did like living in my own home and driving my own car.“
Enderson says it is his legs that have given out on him.
“I can still walk a little,” he says. “But, not much. And no running. But other than my legs, I am in pretty good shape. No complaints.“
Enderson says he still misses his good friend Elmer Knudsen, who died recently.
“Elmer and I were friends for many years,” Enderson says. “We did a lot of fishing together. We had a lot of fun fishing, even though we usually didn’t catch that many fish.“
The two both wound up going into St. Luke’s at about the same time, so they continued their friendship there.
In Ike’s room there is a large framed picture of the two friends holding up fishing gear – but no fish. The wooden frame is carved with fishing images. It was designed by Ike’s daughter and constructed by Willie Prescher.
It is obviously Ike’s favorite possession – other than the top-of-the-line, speedy, powered wheel chair.
Another photo in Ike’s room shows the entire St. Olaf College student body in 1928.
Ike is pretty sure he is the only person in the photo who is still alive.
“I guess that makes me newsworthy, too,” he says. “A reporter from the St. Olaf College newspaper is coming to interview me this week.“
One question the reporter may ask is Ike’s secret to a long life. His answer in the past has been to be sure to have good genes and refuse to die.
Enderson says one of the problems with being 105 is that you lose lots of loved ones over the years; parents, siblings, spouse and many friends.
On the plus side, he still is enjoying life, he says, even if the circumstances have changed.
“I have had a very good life. I’m sure it will be my time to go some day,” he says. “But right now I am doing pretty well.”
Very well, especially considering he is 105. He doesn’t plan to slow down, yet, and that includes the wheel chair racing.