Duluth Woman Celebrates 100 Years While Swinging her Golf Club

Updated: 05/23/2014 10:47 PM
Created: 05/23/2014 6:00 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

Getting older can be tough. Bodies ache, bones creak, and sometimes it's just plain hard to keep active. But one Duluth woman defies it all, celebrating 100 years while swinging for the green.

"I'm 100, I'm 100!" laughed Jan Petersen at her birthday party Thursday.

She sure doesn't act her age. She may be 100, but she's a real rebel.

"My kids have a fit when they see me out there with a rake, 'oh my, mother, you put that rake away.' Yah, yah, crazy kids!" said Petersen.

But more often than a rake, it's a golf club she has in her hands. Every Thursday, you can still find her at the Pike Lake Golf Course. She's made three hole-in-ones in her life, but these days she says it's just about getting out.

"At least I hit the ball!" she said with a laugh.

Celebrating her big day, she's surrounded by her fellow lady golfers. She calls them her 'kids.' They have a special name for her, too.

"We always call her 'Mrs. Pete' from the high school days. She was our advisor in Power Club," said Judy Morgan, a former student.

Mrs. Pete was born and still lives in Lakeside, but for nearly two decades she taught at Denfeld.

"I decided when I was in third grade that I wanted to be a phy. ed. teacher and I never changed. My mother and dad said I would be a wonderful nurse and I thought, 'ugh, I hate blood!'"said Petersen.

A handful of her former students tee off with Petersen every Thursday. They say she's the same 'Mrs. Pete'.

"She's always smiling, she greets everybody, she can remember their names and that sparkle in her eye," said Morgan.

Hearing her laugh as she tells stories from way back when, you can't help but ask 'Mrs. Pete' her secret. She says it's part genes, part attitude, but mostly staying on the move.

"Just keep active kids, keep active. Really, I think that's the main thing and just do what you're able to do," she said.

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