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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Photo courtesy of Tana Thomas

Centenarian amazed at how quickly her 100 years have passed

By Cindy Mullet

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Moving to Montana in the dirty ‘30s made for some tough times, but even so Nedra Stott stayed in Glendive for the next 87 years.

Stott, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Glendive Medical Center Extended Care, grew up in Minnesota. When she was 13, her father, a salesman, was sent to Glendive. Moving from the big city to a small town wasn’t easy but she soon made friends and discovered she could still have good times in a small town, she said.

One evening when she and some of her friends were walking down the street, a young man from Fairview, George Sanderson, who was working as a mechanic and parts man at Hilger Chevrolet happened to see them, noticed her, asked who she was, and then “connived” with a couple from the garage to take her along to a dance in Wibaux, she related.

Sanderson drove her home from the dance, they started dating off and on and were married in 1938.

“Men always want to get married right away,” she noted.

They started married life in an apartment by Dawson County High School across the street from the Northern Pacific section house and lived there when their two oldest children were born. Later they bought a house and raised their family of four: Neil, Arden, Don and Darlene, there, she said.

After she was married Stott worked for three years as a part-time meat wrapper for Safeway store located next to the Beer Jug. 

“That was fun,” she said.

The late 1930s and early 1940 were not easy times economically, but other than those three years working at Safeway, Stott was able to stay at home to raise her children while her husband continued working at Hilgers, she said.

While times may have been tough, Glendive was a fun place to live during those days. The children enjoyed going to the swimming pool in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Good bands drew crowds to dances at the Moose and the Elks clubs. She also enjoyed going to the Moose once a week to play bridge, she said.

Sanderson died in 1979 and after his death, Stott rediscovered an old friend, Loren Stott, whose wife had also died in 1979. She and Loren had gone to school together, and he and his brother often walked home from school with her, sometimes stopping in to visit and eat popcorn, she said.

They married in October 1980, and she gained a step-daughter, Myrna who lives in Pennsylvania but still calls to talk to her and stays in contact, she said, adding “I’m very fortunate to have a good step-daughter.”

In the 1990s she and Loren started going to Arizona for the winters, living there six months of the year. They loved Arizona, enjoying all the activities available to them and the beautiful winter weather, she said.

After Loren died, she moved back to Glendive, lived in her own home for a while, moved to Grandview and then on to Extended Care where family and friends recently gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday.

“The room was packed with all my friends,” she said, adding, “It sure was a nice party. I appreciate everyone who came. What a day. I will never forget it.”

Her daughter, Darlene Mitchell, put together a display of old photographs, and she got a real bang out of looking through them. 

“Whoever thought I’d get to be a 100,” she noted.

Mitchell is the only one of her children living in Glendive. Two of her sons have died and the third lives in Seattle. Stott is very grateful to have Mitchell close. 

“I don’t know what I’d do without Darlene,” she said. “She is great.”

Looking back over her 100 years, Stott is surprised at how quickly time has gone and appreciative of all she has experienced.

“I’ve had a good life, especially health wise,” she said. “I thank God all the time.”

Reach Cindy Mullet at

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