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April 24, 2019

4/2/2019 9:42:00 AM
Sienna Crest resident celebrates 105 years
A lot has changed in the past 105 years; several changes in presidents, several wars, vehicles, medical advancements, and technology some would have never dreamed possible. Herman Nodorft, who has been a resident at Sienna Crest assisted living in Dodgeville, Wisconsin for eight years, has been around for it all. As a kid, Herman didn't have indoor plumbing, but as he grew, everywhere he ever worked or lived once he grew up did. He also witnessed the change from black and white T.V.s to color T.V.s, crank phones, to cordless to cellular devices, and some of the earliest car models to the newest electric cars you occasionally see on the road today.
Herman grew up in Platteville, Wisconsin, and graduated from Platteville High School in 1932. He worked on the farm, east of Platteville, for five or six years, until 1939. After that, he worked on another farm for a lady who lived just south of Platteville. He worked there for only a year before he picked up his things and headed to Rockford, Illinois. He found himself a factory job there, making pianos. He worked there from 1940 to 1941. He married the love of his life 1941. Shortly after he was married, Herman was drafted into the Army in 1942. He became part of Infantry Company 11, Fifth Division. In the Army, Herman was a in the mortar section. He carried the mortar, and "could set one up faster than almost anybody!" He exclaimed. Herman arrived in Iceland on the first anniversary of his marriage. He spent 16 months in Iceland before heading to England. They didn't stay there long, just to do some training. Once they left England, they arrived in Ireland where they stayed until they headed to France in July. They crossed the river on September 9th, 1944. They camped out in some trees and brush there, but the Germans came through and sprayed them. Herman was shot in the leg that day. He and his outfit crossed the river on a Friday, and by Sunday, they had to retreat.
"That was the only time we ever did that!" Herman said. After Herman was shot, he never went back to the First Division. He began bringing loads of prisoners back. There would be six guards with each trainload of prisoners. At the time the war ended, Herman was with a different company, an escort company they were called. Once the war ended, Herman had accumulated many points from being overseas, so he was able to leave. Herman hitch hiked to Paris so he could get a ride to the coast.
"I got to ride in a lot of jeeps and things." Herman remembered.
By the time Herman was out of the service in 1945, he had spent 43 months away from home, never having visited once. While he was gone, his wife had stayed with his parents.
Once Herman was discharged, he returned home which was back on the farm in Rewey. Him and his family only stayed there for a year, however, before moving to a farm in Benton that they rented for eight years. After those eight years, they bought a farm north of Belmont and stayed there for 20 years, where his three children mainly grew up and went to school. Then, Herman and his wife moved to Platteville. While Herman lived in Rockford, he had enjoyed playing on a softball league, so when they got to Platteville, he became the manager of the Platteville League. Herman had been a farmer for many years of his life, so when him and his wife moved to Platteville, Herman had to find a new job. He got a job driving for Dick's Supermarket where he worked for 13 years. He retired in 1988.
Over the years, Herman has picked up a number of hobbies. When he lived on the farm, they often held card club or played softball. After he retired in 1988, Herman played golf until he turned 95. He and his wife also enjoyed going out dancing, until she passed away in 2001.
"She was a dandy. One off the nicest ladies around," Herman said of his wife.
Now that Herman lives at Sienna Crest, he enjoys visiting with his daughter Sharon, who turns 73 on the same day Herman turns 105, a celebration will be held on the 30th. He also enjoys visits from his friends in Cambridge every two weeks, beating everyone at Euchre, gardening, and watching and caring for the bird feeders.
When asked to offer advice to younger adults, Herman said that he has always believed in doing the right thing and he's gone to church his whole life.
"I wholeheartedly believe in doing that," he stated.
Living to be 105 is quite the accomplishment, but to be as spry, sharp, and jovial as Herman is something that we can all hope for. So on behalf of the Dodgeville Chronicle, happy birthday, Herman!





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