■ Vida Jokela
● Age: 73.
● Live: Rural Brainerd.
● What are you doing at The Center: “I joined the senior’s morning club. I met a friend through the Widowed Friends Club and she encouraged me to join this club.”
● Your husband? “My husband, Jim, knew he was dying and he didn’t want me to know ... I took care of him for five years before he passed away on Oct. 3, 2011. The hospice pastor kept telling me to get out and he sent me a letter and told me I needed to start a new life since Jim is gone. Well after that I got a letter from the Widowed Friends and I went. It was the beginning; a step in the right direction.”
● Family: “Jim and I were married for 26 years. I had four children and seven grandchildren.”
● Hobbies: “Antiques. We collected railroad collections and my husband restored old John Deeres. We also collected all-Americana books. I also had a 200-piece Cobalt dish set that I sold.”
● Oldest antique piece: “I had an 1896 wall clock with chimes. We restored it and I gave it to my daughter.”
● Antiques you wouldn’t get rid of: “My jewelry. I store them all in my gun case.”
● Favorite book: “I don’t know the name of it, but it was about the first woman who went to Alaska to find her dad and brother during the Gold Rush.”
● Other thing about you: “I did hand gun safety training this year. My son is the owner of the Shooting Sports in Little Falls and I did it there.”
● Funny story with your husband: “We were driving along Highway 6 looking for wildlife, looking to see a moose or a wolf. We didn’t see anything and then my husband was like, ‘Hey, look!’ and there was a mouse running across the road. He had a great sense of humor.”
— COMPILED by Jennifer Stockinger, Staff Writer. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.