North Dakota Mom of 10 Celebrates 103rd Birthday in Style: ‘She Was Waving like a Queen’


Age is nothing but a number, and one woman from North Dakota proved this. Despite turning 103, she still had an air of joyful youth and vibrance about her—this year, she was granted a special honor.

Growing old is a blessing; few families are lucky enough to spend time with their loved ones for many decades. Olga Marsten Hovet’s family has had her around for a lifetime.

The stunning 103-year-old must be doing something right because she is still happy and healthy! She obtained her diploma from Watford City High School at a time when students still traveled to school via horses, wagons, and buggies.

The Honorary Selection

Olga was the establishment’s oldest graduate, so the high school recently asked her to be their grand marshal. She grew up on a farm near Watford City in North Dakota and enjoyed a simple life with her husband, Walter Hovet.

The love birds tied the knot on September 21, 1941, and had many joyous years as husband and wife, raising ten kids together. When Watford City High School’s annual homecoming parade approached, they turned to Olga.

The beloved and longstanding tradition meant a great deal to the community members and students, both past and present. As a lifelong McKenzie County resident, Olga was thrilled when her alma mater selected her as their grand marshal.

While there were more than eight decades between the 2022 senior class and Olga, seeing her in the parade created a connection. By honoring those who came before them, the students created lifetime memories.

The Exciting Homecoming Parade

The 2022 parade would be extra special because of Olga’s presence. She walked out of the high school’s doors 86 years ago in 1936.

She was a 16-year-old student then, excited for the rest of her life, likely unaware of the significant honor waiting in her future. Expressing her joy about the selection, Olga said:

“I just thought it was exciting.”

The homecoming parade took place on October 12—it also happened to be the day of Olga’s 103rd birthday. Students from her former high school ensured the day was one of a kind, finding ways to spoil their incredible grand marshal.

She Was Beaming

The students visited Olga at her Good Shepherd Home, where the group sang to the beautiful birthday girl. Olga described herself as an “old, old lady.” But she carried her age well and looked chipper in a Watford City High School jacket.

Photos of the older woman were filled with joy and captured her driving shotgun in a convertible. Her son was behind the wheel, and they led the homecoming parade procession. Olga undoubtedly looked like royalty, giving onlookers a queenly wave.

Her Good Shepherd Home director, Kristin Rhone, was grateful for the unique experience bestowed upon her resident. She shared:

“[Olga] just beamed. She beamed the entire time. She was waving like a queen. She ate it up. She was beautiful and radiant, it brought tears to your eyes because you can see what joy it brought her.”

It Meant the World to Her
The parade meant the world to Olga and her son. The older woman’s six sons played football during high school, and Olga recalled cheering for the Wolves on the weekends for many years.

Amy Polivka, the student council adviser at Watford City High School, was delighted to include Olga in their annual celebration and noted that traditions were important for their community.

While there were more than eight decades between the 2022 senior class and Olga, seeing her in the parade created a connection. By honoring those who came before them, the students created lifetime memories.

The Online Response
Netizens were in awe of Olga’s grace and vibrancy at 103 years old. Many people sent their love and wished her well as she celebrated another year:

“Wow, she looks like she’s only in her 70’s! She’s sure doing something right! I hope she has many more birthdays to celebrate!”

– (Christina Stearns) October 23, 2022

“Happy 103rd birthday sweet lovely lady! Have a wonderful time. You look absolutely gorgeous!”

– (Patty Fuller) October 24, 2022

“Happy birthday beautiful young lady. I hope you have a great day and many more birthdays. May God bless you always.”

– (Doris Baird) October 24, 2022

“Happy Birthday. Best wishes. Awesome, 103 years young! God bless you.”

– (Sheryl Ann Little) October 23, 2022

Olga had the time of her life during the homecoming parade and deserved every moment in the sun. We wish her many more moments of joy and love as she continues to be a source of light in the world.

Click here for another story about a one-of-a-kind New Mexico woman celebrating her 105th birthday this year. The day before the significant milestone, she received an unforgettable gift—Her great-great-great-granddaughter was born!


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