Nell Haagen of Abbotsford celebrates 105th birthday

Small celebration with family and friends was held on Monday

Nell Haagen celebrates her 105th birthday on Monday surrounded by her children (from left) Peter Haagen

Pietertje “Nell” Haagen has family genetics to thank for her longevity.

Her mom passed away just two months short of her 100th birthday, an aunt lived to age 96, and other family members lived into their 90s.

But Nell surpassed these milestones on Monday, Aug. 22, when she reached her 105th birthday.

Family members gathered that afternoon for a small celebration at The Mayfair, an Abbotsford nursing home where Nell resides and which previously operated as Ebenezer Home. Her family and church helped build the Marshall Road facility.

During the celebration, her daughter Jenny Moedt – one of Nell’s five children – asked Nell to what she credits all her years.

“The Lord gave me a long life and blessed me with a nice family,” she replied.

Haagen is one of Abbotsford’s most senior residents. (At least two others in Abbotsford are 106 and 105 years old.) The former title holder, Nora Deadman, passed away in February 2014, just short of her 108th birthday.

Nell was born Aug. 22, 1911 in Friesland, Holland. She trained as a nurses’ aide and worked in a local hospital with patients who had disabilities.

She married Jack Haagen, who was a baker, and they had five children.

In 1956, the family travelled by boat from Holland to Quebec, and then by train to Alberta.

There, they purchased bakeries in Bellevue and Edmonton, with the entire family working together to run the bakeries.

They relocated to B.C. after Jack retired, and settled in Ladner and later Abbotsford.

Nell has always loved music, and played the organ in church.

She has 17 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.

Just Posted

Abbotsford Police ‘speed watchers’ are tops in province

Volunteers record highest increase in patrol hours in ICBC challenge

UPDATE: Abbotsford woman reported missing from Chilliwack has been found

Alexis Neill, 26, located safe and sound, police say

Event supports women’s centre that is at risk of having to move

Abbotsford women’s recovery program holds annual Victory Walk

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of robberies included convenience store in Abbotsford

The Offspring and Sum 41 announce show in Abbotsford

Bands play Abbotsford Centre on Nov. 30 as part of Canadian leg of current tour

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

VIDEO: Organization’s stolen wheelchair van recovered on backroad near Hope

Wheelchair accessible van is only transportation for some people in Hope area

Officials say 50 Oppenheimer Park residents have agreed to leave, as deadline looms

Residents have been told they must be gone by 6 p.m. on Aug. 21

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

‘Do the right thing,’ implores sister of South Surrey stabbing victim

IHIT confirms male arrested in connection with Paul Prestbakmo’s death no longer in custody

Most Read