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New Rockford, N.D., woman celebrates 108th birthday

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NEW ROCKFORD, ND--They say as you get older, you get wiser.

That makes this week's Gems one of the smartest in the world.

She was four when World War 1 started - and William Taft was President.

There's been 18 other presidents since.

She's almost as old as the state of North Dakota.

You could say there is a lot of wisdom inside this New Rockford nursing home....and these seniors can be a bit witty too

So what happened when WDAZ TV’s Matt Henson asked Bobbie how she felt?

“With my fingers,” said Bobbie.

That's a pretty quick comeback from someone who is racking up the birthday candles.

“They always ask me what's the secret, I tell them I don't have any secrets.”

Though she does have two glasses of wine a day.

“Don't put this in the paper, some people will think is that all she does is drink wine.”

Some say that may be the secret to this week's big bash - Blossom Goldie Schnabel's 108th birthday.

“Doesn’t seem any different than when I was 100 or less.”

Known as Bobbie for most of her life--because her little sister Jackie could not say Blossom--she was born in 1910 in Martin, North Dakota, southwest of Rugby.

Bobbie had 2 brothers and 3 sisters.

Only Jackie is still alive.

3 of the other siblings lived well into their 90s.

“Her of all my sisters, I didn't think she would have the longevity, she wasn't always that healthy as far as health problems, she had more surgeries than any of them,” said sister, Jackie. 

Decades later, Bobbie still shows off her wedding dress.

It was back in 1941 when she married Walter, the man of her dreams.

“The first date I had with him he told me all of his life history and lots of it wasn't very good, so I thought anyone who tells your date all of his life history must be pretty good,” said Bobbie.

But money was tight those first few years.  

“We didn't have a house or a place to live so we each lived with our folks.”

They eventually moved to Walter's family farm.

It's there where the couple's only child was born. The couple was married for 59 years before Walter passed away at the age of 95.

“He didnt catch up with me.”

Bobbie - who is colorblind - in recent years has really only had one close call when she had shingles about a decade ago.  

“It's amazing, every year I keep thinking this is the last year I'm planning a party and soon after I'm planning another party,” said Bobbie’s daughter, Shari.

Her sister Jackie is worried she may live to be just as old.

“I will live longer too, but I can't afford it, it's expensive,” said Jackie.

Bobbie's birthdays are gaining attention....including from the boss of North Dakota.

“Nobody gets a letter from the governor on their birthdays,” said Bobbie.

So as Bobbie sleeps off another wild and crazy birthday party at the nursing home - her family is staying busy.

“We will be waiting to do 109 here,” said Shari.

“I hope I don’t have another one, but a lot of people are wishing I live to 109. I guess I’ll work on it,” said Bobbie.

Bobbie is not the oldest North Dakotan.

Iris Westman of Northwood holds that title - she is 112 years old.

She is actually the 4th oldest American and 22nd oldest person in the world.