Living life to the fullest

Editor’s Note: This the first of a series about the lives of Webster City area residents of who are at at least 90 years old. All are still very active with friends, church and volunteer activities. Most still drive and live on their own. A local group has organized an event at 10 a.m. on June 24 at The Bridge to honor these nonagenarians.

Like most couples, Norman and Irene Gordon enjoy going out for dinner. In fact for several decades, they have had a standing Thursday night dinner engagement at the Second Street Emporium.

“It all started several years ago,” said Irene Gordon. She and her husband started going to dinner on Thursdays with friends Max and Myra Maxon. Through the years, others joined them for dinner, and sometimes it’s just the two of them enjoying a night out. They have a favorite table and that’s where they sit to enjoy their meal.

The Gordons are both life-long area residents. Norman, 97, and Irene, 94, grew up in the rural areas around Webster City, attended country school and graduated from high school here. Norman was one of four Gordon brothers. His younger brother, Virgil, still lives in the area as well.

Norman and Irene married in 1940, which means in 2015, they will celebrate 75 years together.

“When we had our 50th anniversary, I don’t think we could have ever imagined we’d be here this long,” said Irene Gordon.

They farmed for many years south of Webster City. They moved from the farm to town in 1973. Both said changes in the world that they had seen in their 90-plus years were incredible.

“We’ve seen a good many things change. We didn’t have running water or electricity back in the early days,” she said. Norman Gordon recalled working the farm with his father using horses instead of machinery.

The Gordons raised three boys Phillip, who is deceased, Roger and Bruce, who now live in Montana and Seattle, respectively. The couple also has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“Our family kind of spread out,” said Irene Gordon. But one granddaughter has returned to Webster City to take some nursing classes and the Gordons are enjoying the time they can spend with her.

Keeping active and busy has always been important for the couple. The Gordons have been active in their church and volunteer endeavors. For years, the couple delivered Meals on Wheels.

“We really enjoyed that,” said Norman Gordon.

He spends many happy hours working with rock. Norman cuts open the rocks to reveal beautifully striated layers inside. Sometimes he polishes and works with the rocks until the slices reach a high gloss.

“He always carries a couple in his pocket,” said Irene Gordon, as Norman pulls out a thinly sliced gleaming rock. This specimen has striations that naturally created a smiley face.

“Everyone sort of expects him to have them,” she said of the rocks.

“I think sometimes it’s hard for farmers to find hobbies,” she said. “They’re so busy with farm work that they don’t have time for the fishing and the golf and others things. But I think it’s important to find a hobby.”

Norman Gordon said he has enjoyed his hobby for more than 40 years.

“It’s just something that I thought I’d like,” he said.

Irene Gordon crocheted for many years, but now finds it difficult due to vision problems. She now finds time to play cards with friends.

“I keep busy with life,” she said.

That’s kind of the philosophy that she and Norman live by. They still enjoy good health. No smoking and no alcohol and staying fit with a little exercise are all part of being able to live a good life into their 90s, the Gordons said.

“You just have to do the best you can and live everyday to its fullest,” she said. “Today is here just live it.”

“Make every day count,” said Norman Gordon.