Madge Hollander celebrates 98th birthday

Back row: Bill and Wayne. Front: Lori, Madge, and Sue.

By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe

On August 2, 2022, Madge Hollander celebrated her 98th birthday with her family.

When I first met Madge DeHollander, I was struck by her smile and enthusiasm for life. And when I learned about the quality of her long life, it was clear that Madge’s relationships, daily physical activity, and commitment to various projects have given her a lifetime of happiness and purpose.

Madge’s relationships are the most important part of her life. She developed and maintained close friendships with a group of girls from high school, her “lunch bunch.” They loved each other, had lots of fun, and shared their joys and sorrows as good friends do. Even in their later years, when they were separated by distances, the women made it a point to travel and meet at least once a year. Today, just one of Madge’s lunch bunch survives.

Madge’s children are her proudest accomplishments, and she shares that they “have brought me the most joy and happiness.” Her four children respect and care for her; she visits and stays with each one of her children throughout the year. In addition to four children, Madge has 7 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren. Her daughter Lori Barnes says, “the family is very proud and continues to be amazed by her.”

Madge has always been an active person, and she includes regular exercise and activity in her weekly schedule. She exercises and stretches every morning, she golfs twice a week, and she also bowls. Madge believes in “staying active” and wants to “keep moving.” Her strength and excellent health are testimony to her lifestyle.

Madge also is a member of several organizations, including a knitting group called Needlers which meets at the Portage Senior Center. Inspired by a speaker at a Needler meeting, Madge knitted 379 washable sleeping mats designed for sick people around the globe. With the mats, people don’t have to lie on the ground. “I feel good about that,” Madge said.

Madge’s daughter, Vicksburg resident Lori Barnes, calls her mom “the most positive person I know.” And after the brief time we spent together, I would agree. Happy Birthday, Madge!

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