Moll celebrates 105th birthday

Staff photo by Fritz Busch

Mark Moll of Morgan, left, and Armon Moll celebrate Armon’s 105th birthday with cake with family and friends at Oakwood United Methodist Church Sunday.

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Mark Moll of Morgan, left, and Armon Moll celebrate Armon’s 105th birthday with cake with family and friends at Oakwood United Methodist Church Sunday.

NEW ULM — With help from local friends and family as far away as Oregon, Armon Moll celebrated his 105th birthday at Oakwood United Methodist Church Sunday.

“Things have changed a lot. There were no conveniences when I was young,” said Moll, who walked two miles each way to the District 9 country school, in Milford Township, north of Essig.

Sometimes, Moll got a ride to school.

“If it was snowing or raining, dad would hitch a team of horses up and give us a ride,” Moll said.

He went to school through the eighth grade before going to work as a hired hand on nearby farms. He later drove a motorgrader, grading and plowing county and township roads, a job he kept for 42 years.

Armon and his wife Ruth were married for 74 years. They spent some winter time in Apache Junction, Arizona, years ago. She died six years ago at age 94.

The couple had five children, all of which celebrated with Armon Sunday. His four daughters and their husbands included Darlene, Princeville, Illinois; Beverly, Clitherall; Sharon, Bonner Springs, Kansas; Debra, Medford, Oregon; and son Mark, Morgan.

Armon retired at 67 and began walking three miles a day around New Ulm, even after moving to Orchard Hill Senior Living. His daily routine included walking several miles, eating breakfast, read The Journal from the front to back page, listening to KNUJ Radio and visiting.

“Even now, he stays in touch with New Ulm and what’s going on here,” said Mark Moll. “He eats a variety of food, likes sweets, but doesn’t eat between meals.”

It was fitting that Armon celebrated his birthday at Oakwood United Methodist Church which recently observed its 50th anniversary. “I used my motor grader to do the excavating when the church was built,” Armon said.

He’s had colon cancer since his mid-80s but does not seem to suffer from it. Armon uses a walker to move around these days.

“He’s blessed with good health including a sound mind,” Mark Moll said. “He still plays cards daily with us.

Armon lives in Gil-Mor Haven nursing home in Morgan. He believes his daily walking over the past 40 years and a strong faith in Christ have a lot to do with his longevity.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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