By Laura Fowler Paulus
Edee Dalke of Daytona Beach, Fla., and her sister, Ruth Krause of Olathe, haven’t seen each other in a long time due to living many states apart and the pandemic, but they were determined to not let distance separate them on a very special occasion.
Their mother, Aldina Dalke, who died in 1996, would have turned 100 on Feb. 22.
“We wanted to do something to commemorate her special day,” said Dalke. “I remember when I was little I always asked to see her driver’s license because I loved seeing all the twos. And now here we are at her 100th birthday.”
Dalke explained that her mom grew up in Oklahoma, but she was Mennonite Brethren and attended Tabor College in Hillsboro.
She shared the non-traditional way that her parents met back in 1954.
“They met through a personal ad in The Wichita Eagle. My dad [Alvin Dalke] wrote an ad in Low German stating that he was a businessman who wanted someone to write him letters. Mom only reacted because it was written in Low German. They married in 1956 and had my sister 14 months later and me soon after that, she said.
The sisters grew up in Newton and went to Berean Academy.
“Ruth graduated from Tabor and a Masters from KU. She is currently a nurse after a long career in banking and information services,” said Dalke. “I graduated from K-State and own a magazine in Ormond Beach, Fla., after 26 years with The Orlando Sentinel.”
Aldina was a nurse in Newton at Axtell Clinic for many years.
“Both my parents and my grandmother were founding members of Koerner Heights MB in Newton,” said Dalke.
The sisters had grand plans of laying out blankets and doing some special things to celebrate on the 22nd, but the weather was less than ideal. So, they bundled up, threw some birdseed out for the birds and had a cousin grab a quick photo of them. Then they headed over to the local coffee shop on Main Street in Hillsboro and warmed up with some hot beverages.
“We went to the neatest little coffee place called Rhubarb Market and found a couch to sit on. It was so great,” said Dalke.
The sisters also spent a night at the Historic Elgin Hotel in Marion and a night in Lindsborg to round out the experience.
“We wanted to honor her by going to Hillsboro on 2/22/22. Even in the bitter cold, I’m glad we went. There is nothing that would have made her happier than for her daughters to be together on that day,” said Dalke.