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Velma Hansen celebrates 105 years

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Velma Hansen celebrates her 105th birthday at Cedar Creek on Friday, where the lobby was decorated in her honor.


Velma L. (May) Hansen was born on a farm near Campbell, Nebraska on April 30, 1916. At the age of 9, she moved with her family to California by train. It took four days and three nights.

The family settled in the Dixieland area of Madera County, and Velma enrolled in Dixieland School and graduated in 1929 with 19 other 8th graders.

Velma went on to Madera Union High School and graduated in 1933 with honors. She was a straight A student and didn’t miss a day of school in her senior year. Madera High’s class of 1933 was the first one to wear caps and gowns at graduation.

As fate would have it, 17-year-old Velma went to a square dance one night that year and met young and handsome Carl Hansen. They were married in 1934 and remained husband and wife for 65 years. Together they farmed and operated a dairy in the Dairyland district. They raised four children, all boys, Ronald, Robert, Dennis, and Marvin. Carl passed away in 1999.

After moving into the City of Chowchilla, Velma and Carl traveled all over the world, visiting six continents.

Velma now resides at Cedar Creek in Madera. On May 1, she celebrated her 105th birthday at a family reunion with approximately 100 family members.


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