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Draper Journal

Draper Resident Reaches Birthday Milestone

Feb 20, 2015 02:06PM ● By Kim Shemwell

Mildred Del’Andrae, 104, poses with BeeHive Homes Owner/Manager Stan Ketcher during her birthday celebration on Jan. 28.

Surrounded by family and friends at a special birthday gathering at BeeHive Homes, Mildred Olsen Del’ Andrae of Draper turned 104 on Jan. 28.

A petite woman with an engaging smile, Del’Andrae showed off her birthday pedicure in a stylish pair of open-toed sandals. Family members shared that she’s always had a weakness for nice shoes and jewelry.

Del’Andrae grew up in Salt Lake and was the first of four children. Although her family didn’t have much, Del’Andrae only has fond memories of her younger years in a loving family, like gathering around the radio to listen to their favorite programs or hiking the mountains near Alta.

Del’Andrae has always been industrious, acquiring her first job at Kress Five-and-Dime on her own. She admitted fibbing about her age to get the job. She felt lucky to continue working at various jobs throughout the years in a time when many couldn’t find employment.

She married in 1934 and moved to Sugarhouse where she and her husband Louis Smith Newson welcomed two girls and a boy. After her husband passed away suddenly in 1949, Mildred was left to raise their three young children alone. She ran her own daycare business out of her home until she met and married her second husband Roy Del’Andrae in 1951. She gave birth to her youngest daughter two years later and resided in Salt Lake, working for the health department in vital statistics.

“She was good at everything she did,” her daughter Lynda Maddera said. “She worked hard. She was a good cook—even winning an award for her chocolate chip cookies.”

Her retirement years were spent in Holladay, where she and her husband enjoyed taking road trips together. After her husband passed away in 1977, Del’Andrae continued to travel with family and friends.

“My dad passed away when he was 59, so they never had the chance to travel as much as they would have liked,” her son Roger Newson said. “I took her on her first motorcycle ride at the age of 70 and her first camel ride in Egypt at 74. She’s always been game to try new things.”

Del’Andrae has a kind nature and positive outlook that her family says has contributed to her longevity. She feels fortunate to have traveled to a great number of exotic and exciting places, but is most grateful and proud of her family. She has 22 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren and 24 great great grandchildren. 

“I have a wonderful family,” she said.

She’s also a distinguished member of the Governor’s Century Club of Utah, a group formed by the Office of the Governor and Division of Aging and Adult Services to recognize Utah’s centenarians and preserve their legacy.

Del’Andrae lived independently in Sandy until she needed a bit more care and moved to BeeHive’s Memory Care almost two years ago where she is currently their oldest resident.

Stan Ketcher, owner/manager of BeeHive Homes feels it’s important to celebrate and appreciate those who have lived such long lives.

“We love putting on big parties for our centenarians like Mildred,” he said. “They love sharing their stories.”