Every Monday, Ellen Nyquist and her friend, Sharon Kosloski, go to Rafferty's Pizza in Brainerd for pizza before the two women go shopping.
It's been a tradition for the past few years. Kosloski, of Merrifield, picks up Nyquist, who lives at Woodland Good Samaritan Village. Then they head over to Rafferty's where they order mini cheese pizzas -- extra cheese and extra crispy -- before an afternoon of shopping. Each week, they always order the same thing.
On Monday, Rafferty's employees surprised Nyquist with a birthday cake to celebrate her 100th birthday, which will be Sunday. They also decorated Nyquist's favorite booth with balloons and streamers.
"They have the best pizza," said Nyquist.
Ellen Nyquist, Brainerd, enjoyed her mini cheese pizza Monday at Rafferty's Pizza in Brainerd. Nyquist, who turns 100 on Sunday, goes out to lunch with friend Sharon Kosloski of Merrifield every Monday, then they go shopping. The restaurant surprised Nyquist with a cake to celebrate her birthday Monday.
"And they're so wonderful to us," added Kosloski.
Kosloski, a certified nursing assistant, used to care for Nyquist and her sister-in-law before Nyquist moved to Woodland. The two women became friends and each week Kosloski takes her out for pizza and shopping.
"When we don't come, they worry," said Nyquist, of the Rafferty's staff.
Nyquist is a retired elementary schoolteacher who taught for 39 years, mostly at Harrison and Riverside elementary schools in Brainerd. She likes to sit close to the video game machines because she enjoys watching the children play and have fun.
"She's a sweetheart," said Kosloski. "She remembers everything. She remembers every student that she's ever taught."
On Sunday, Nyquist said her nephew, Bud Nyquist of Wahpeton, N.D., plans to visit and host a 100th birthday party for her.
"No one ever dreams of getting that old," Nyquist said with a smile.
Rafferty's also celebrated Nyquist's 99th birthday. Rafferty's owner Mike Brusseau said Nyquist, who was born and raised in Brainerd, knows many of the stories behind the old photos he has hanging on the walls of his restaurant. In fact, Nyquist's favorite booth features a photograph taken in 1908 at a downtown Brainerd ice cream shop. Nyquist's sister is in the photo.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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