New Hope Resident Turns 105, Enjoys Window View of Birthday Party
Gus Horbal peered out his window this weekend to see his family gathered outside. Horbal, a resident of Good Samaritan Society-Ambassador in New Hope, turned 105 years old Sunday. Photojournalist Ben Kroll captured the celebration.
Horbal grew up in Ramsey on a farm, the oldest of nine children. He left home to join the Civilian Conservation Corp, a voluntary public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942. He transitioned into the U.S. Army during WWII. Horbal remained stateside and received an honorable discharge to his family.
In 1938, he married Sylvia Potvin. The couple had seven children, two who died at a young age to tragic circumstances. Horbal and his wife ended up living in Robbinsdale for 73 years. They were able to celebrate 21 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren. The couple celebrated 76 years of marriage before Sylvia passed away in 2017 at age 100.
Horbal has been alive through the Great Depression and is alive today to witness his second pandemic. The first pandemic was the Spanish Flu in 1918 when he was 3 years old.
When asked his secret to his longevity, Horbal says “I had a good wife” and “my Copenhagen chew is what keeps me going,” which he enjoyed up to the age of 104, his family said.
Horbal’s children include his oldest daughter, Joyce; twin boys Russ and Ray; and daughters Karen and Becky.
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