Schmidt to mark 100th birthday years ago

Ella M. (Klassen) Schmidt of Schowalter Villa, Hesston, and her family will celebrate her 100th birthday March 8.

Ella was born March 6, 1908, in the home of Peter and Maria (Fedrau) Klassen southwest of Goessel. She was the fourth of five children and the last surviving member of the family.

She attended local grade schools and furthered her education by attending Goessel Preparatory School for two years.

In 1927 she married Ernst J. Schmidt. They operated a grain and dairy farm south of Canton until 1961, when they moved to Hesston. Ernst became a maintenance assistant at Schowalter Villa. In 1981, they moved into a duplex at Schowalter Villa. Ernst died in 1993.

The couple's children and spouses include Darlene and Franklin Pankratz of Buhler, Laura Flaming of Goessel, Melvin and Charlotte Schmidt of Hyatsville, Md., DeVera and Wiley Wenger of Beaverton, Ore., and DuMont and Barbara Schmidt of Whitewater. Two sons-in-law and one grandchild are deceased.

Her immediate family, including children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren and spouses totals 76. She also has an extended step-family numbering 48 members.