Woodbury centenarian still a bridge buffWearing a corsage and a smile, Woodbury resident Lily Hamalainen celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday, July 10.
By: Karina Winkelman, Woodbury Bulletin
Wearing a corsage and a smile, Woodbury resident Lily Hamalainen celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday, July 10.
“I didn’t think I’d make it, but I did,” Hamalainen said of turning 100.
Hamalainen’s family and close friends joined her at the July 10 party. Some traveled from Maine, California, New Orleans, and even Finland to celebrate this milestone in Hamalainen’s life.
Great-grandchildren in attendance at the birthday event held at the Woodbury Sheraton Hotel were happy and excited that the woman they know as “GG” made it to 100.
After the hugs and other greetings, the family had lunch together and watched a video tribute to Hamalainen made by her son-in-law, Dick Flipp.
“I really couldn’t take it all in,” Hamalainen said.
Hamalainen said “family is important.” She was grateful for the support of her granddaughter, Kristal Belisle, a Woodbury resident who planned Hamalainen’s birthday party.
Hamalainen plays bridge every Thursday night. She planned to celebrate the big birthday again later this week with her bridge club. Hamalainen teaches bridge to others; at the end of the video tribute, the question “Did she teach you?” was posed and there were nods across the room.
Flipp’s video tribute showed the highlights of her life through pictures and video. According to the video, Hamalainen was born July 10, 1912, on her family’s farm in Aitkin, Minn. Her parents were Wilho and Liisa Laukkanen. She had seven siblings.
Hamalainen was married on Sept. 28, 1941, to Carl Hamalainen. They moved to New Orleans after their wedding. They raised their two daughters, Beth and Katherine, there.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hamalainen returned to Minnesota. She now lives in Stonecrest Senior Living in Woodbury.
Bridge club members will celebrate Hamalainen’s birthday at 1 p.m. Friday, July 20, in the basement at the R.H. Stafford Branch Library.