MORRIS – Morris resident Bessie Hexdall turned 107 on Thursday. She said she’s been a part of nearly everything since she moved to Morris 70 years ago, and she still stays active as a resident of the Gardens at Park Pointe.
During the Great Depression, she moved to Sheffield and lived with a family to help take care of their children and supervise cooking and cleaning.
“The first thing they did was taught me to drive the car,” Hexdall said, and she learned to drive the family’s Cadillac. After the children grew and moved out, Hexdall stayed on to supervise some of the other staff.
During World War II, she knitted sweaters for the U.S. Navy and, in 1949, moved to Morris and built a home with her husband. She served as an election judge starting in 1950, and elections were held in her garage for years, she said.
She’s also been part of the Farm Extension and for years worked at the 4-H fair, where she could be found stirring the pork and beans.
Hexdall’s daughter, Barbara, said she thinks her mother is the oldest person in Grundy County, but she was unable to verify it with any official office.
Neighbors and staff said they wish they had Hexdall’s energy.