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Piper, 95, active and thankful

July 26, 2013
Chris Bieri - Tribune Editor , Pierce County Tribune

Fifteen years ago, Evelyn Piper needed a quadruple bypass surgery to save her life.

Now at age 95, Piper hasn't stopped moving, and is as active as many half her age..

Born on a farm in between Maddock and Minnewaukan, Piper has been living in Rugby since shortly after the surgery.

Article Photos

Chris Bieri/PCT
Evelyn Piper (center) takes in an evening of Music in the Park at Ellery Park in Rugby. Despite being 95 years old, Piper is very active, and has lunch every weekday at Rugby’s Senior Center.

"The Lord has been good to me," she said. "I feel well. I have only good things to say about Rugby. We have a lot of good care and there's a lot of things to do if you have the stamina for it."

And for 95, Piper has no shortage of stamina.

She's a regular at community events, and rarely misses a lunch at Rugby's Senior Center.

"Every day," she said. "I do that because I love the sociability and the food is good and I need to get out. My daughter is very kind to take me and come get me."

Piper lives with her daughter in Rugby, moving in after her husband, Harvey, had to go into long-term care, and says it's a perfect pairing.

"It works out great because we need each other, so it's great," she said.

Piper taught home economics for 33 years, starting in Rolette, before moving on to teach near her home in Maddock and Minnewaukan, as well as in Devils Lake.

"The first year was at Rolette," she said. "The superintendent came to Maddock and insisted I come with him because there was an opening there."

She lost her hearing and had to quit teaching, but returned after a school board decision that she could work with a hearing aid.

"Friday I got a hearing aid and Monday I went back to school," she said.

After having the heart surgery, Piper followed doctor's orders to move closer to a community with a hospital.

Soon she was on an exercise regimen and feeling great.

"Doctor said you can't be 60 miles from the hospital," she said, "He suggested we come up here. I was supposed to walk all of the time so we rented a little place up by the armory. By spring I could walk two miles and I was just pleased."

She still hears from many of her former students and continues to try to take advantage of each new day.

"I think it's good to appreciate God's blessings and I've certainly had plenty of those," she said. "And I've had wonderful students. They taught me so many things. I hope I've taught them some too."

 
 

 

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