Video and story by Stephen Dafoe with files from Lucie Roy
Wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of wellwishers who came out Thursday afternoon to celebrate the 101st birthday of Paula Nolte.
Nolte, known for her gardening abilities was brought out under an umbrella to check on her plants. There, she was greeted and serenaded from a distance by Seniors coordinator Mary Benson and members of the Morinville Minstrels, a group she belonged to for many years.
Paula Nolte was born in July 1919 at Kellmunz Germany and had three brothers and two sisters.
After high school, she worked in a government office during the Second World War.
In 1951, she immigrated to Canada as a housekeeper. She had two Uncles in Canada that paid for her flight to Calgary, and she lived in Calgary for a month upon arrival.
The day after her arrival, her Aunt went to Edmonton to attend her cousin’s nursing graduation, and Paula attended as well.
The following day they visited their German friends; John Schafers and Joseph Nolte in the Morinville area and Paula was with them. Joseph had also met Paula on several occasions in Germany.
Joseph Nolte’s first wife Theresa Bokenfohr had died, and he hired Paula as a housekeeper.
They eventually married in May 1951 at the St. Jean Baptiste Roman Catholic Church with Rev. E. Tessier as the Officiating Clergyman.
Joe and Paula had one daughter and two sons and lived on acreage in Morinville from 1951 to 2011.
Paula always had a really big garden and she invited many friends to come over to share in the bounty.
In the Lodge, Paula has been known for growing beautiful large tomato plants.
Paula said she has 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Joseph passed away in 1989 and Paula remained on the farm until she went to live at Heritage Place Lodge in November 2011.
Paula enjoyed many years singing with the Morinville Minstrels and being a member of the Seniors Rendez-Vous Centre.