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Sally Ferguson turns 100

Sally Ferguson is pictured with her family members during a party in her honor. Star Gazette photos by Jane Lightbourn

For 100 years, Sally Ferguson has lived by a simple, yet sincere philosophy.

“That you need to always be honest, not only with others, but yourself,” she said. “Are you working hard and doing everything you can to be who you want to be? And what are you doing to take good care of yourself?”

She has obviously followed that advice.

On Tuesday, June 25, Sally Ferguson celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends at Park Ridge of Hastings, where she has lived since 2009. Previously, she lived in Cannon Falls.

Celestine Helen Ryan was born June 25th, 1913. She got the name Sally from her dad, and has gone by it since she was a child. She was born to Harry and Helen Ryan on her parents’ farm. She had two sisters and, being the oldest, and with no brothers, she worked on the farm.

She graduated from Randolph High School. There were eight students in her graduation class.

She went on to work in Red Wing at several different jobs. She married Donald James Ferguson of Randolph on May 16, 1937, in Cannon Falls. They bought a home and raised two daughters, Sara and Mary. They owned  Don’s Tavern and later, Don’s Meat Market in Cannon Falls.

Sally worked at the Ben Franklin and Lea’s Ready to Wear in Cannon Falls. She loved walking, gardening, playing bridge and church activities. She took care of her aging mother for many years before she died.

Don and Sally were married for 48 years before he died. Sally always said he left before he had to have a big 50th anniversary party, according to relatives and friends.

After his death, Sally did respite care for others in Cannon Falls. At the age of 72 she became a foster parent to a mentally challenged adult. Nancy lived with Sally for several years before she went to live in a group home.

Sally’s oldest daughter, Sara, is married to John Hunt and they have two daughters, Amy and Katy. Amy is married to Tad Tjornhom and they have two little girls, Ava and Ana.

Sally’s youngest daughter, Mary, and her husband Charlie Grote have one daughter, Gina.