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Rugby resident marks 100th birthday with special celebration

By Staff | Jun 26, 2020

Submitted photo Rugby resident Bill Godman sits at a table with a cake to mark his 100th birthday. Godman celebrated his birthday May 26 at Haaland Estates with family via social media.


Staff Writer



Rugby resident Bill Godman marked a very special milestone last month with family and friends from around the country, all gathered together on computer screens.

Godman, who lives at Haaland Estates in Rugby, turned 100 years old May 26. He was born on his family farm to William and Alma Godman in 1920 near Churchs Ferry, according to his daughter, Cindy Schwartz.

“The farm has been in the family for 100 years. He lived there all his life until he fell in 2018,” Schwartz said, adding “He fell outside in December.”

Godman remained where he fell for eight hours before he was discovered, Schwartz said. After a hospital stay in Grand Forks, he moved to the Rugby assisted living facility.

Schwartz said that although her father was weaker physically than before, he still had lots of energy left.

Godman married Elaine Lorenz and had five children. “He has one daughter in Pennsylvania, one daughter in Minnesota, two sons in North Dakota, and I live in Rugby,” Schwartz said. “He has six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.”

Elaine Godman passed away in 2009.

Schwartz said the family logged on to the Haaland Home’s social media network to celebrate together. “We had a big party planned originally, but that fell by the wayside,” she noted.

“My son has a birthday two days after his birthday,” Schwartz added. “We came over to visit him at his window and talked by phone.”

“He gets teary-eyed,” she said of her dad. “He likes it when the family can be together.”

Schwartz said she planned to visit Godman* Friday, when the facility moves into phase two of the North Dakota Department of Health’s Smart Restart guidelines.

“I will go to see him in his room,” she said.

Schwartz said she believed her dad’s good nature played a key role in his long life.

“He’s an easy-to-please guy,” she said. “He’s always rolled with the punches.”

* Corrected from print edition

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