100 cards sought for Washington woman turning 100 years old

By: Maggie Wilson

Updated:

A granddaughter in Washington state is seeking 100 cards for her grandmother, who turns 100 years old this month.

Angela Bertha Meier Gnirk was born on Nov. 15, 1917.

She was a baby in a Crofton, Nebraska, farmhouse with white walls and wooden floors. On the farm, they grew corn and oats. 

Photo of Angela, courtesy of family.

Cows, chickens and horses grazed around the home. The kids played at a creek on the property.

Angela was the first baby born in the house. She was one of 12 children and recalls once being caught in the pantry taking raisins, begging an older brother not to tell. They were mostly well-behaved, she said.

Angela lives in the Tacoma area now; she's lived in Tacoma since 1962. (Scroll down for the address where you can send Angela a birthday card.)

She hated math when she was a girl, but loved reading, spelling and coloring. Her schoolhouse was about four miles away from her home, granddaughter Patricia Chisum said. 

The family use to ride horse and buggy to the town, and sometimes walk. 

Angela recalls a time once when the horse got loose. In 1930, the family moved two miles closer to town.

She met the man she would marry, Harvey Gnirk, while doing housework in Sioux City, Iowa. They married in Nebraska in August 1940.

At the wedding, she carried a bouquet of simple roses and peach blossoms.

Photo of Angela, courtesy of family.

Angela and Harvey had 14 children together; five have since died. The couple loved to eat at a restaurant near the hospital where Harvey worked, and to dance together.

Harvey died in November 1983.

Chisum says her grandmother loves meat, potatoes and gravy for dinners – and apple pie and ice cream for desserts. Angela also like hot coffee and cooking with cinnamon.

Every evening, she used to do 100 touch-toe exercises without bending her knees. 

Chisum remembers her grandmother always cooking and baking, her love for Princess Diana and always a wonderful Christmas together with a “huge tree.”

Photo of Angela, courtesy of family.

When asked about her how she’s managed to live a long and happy life, Angela offers this advice: Take things as they come along and deal with it; take care of them. 

Growing up, she prayed nightly with her parents – then with her children and now she prays by herself, with a rosary.

“Getting a hug from grandma is amazing,” Chisum said of her grandmother. “No words can really express how it feels. But affection, tenderness and warmth cover me. … And when it’s time to leave for the day, we hug and kiss – and never say goodbye. We say until we meet again.”

If you want to send a birthday card to Angela, send it by mail to:

Angela Gnirk
4004 South K St.
Tacoma, WA 98418


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