Top Fairlawn Resident
Evelyn Wolken was named July Resident of the Month at Fairlawn Haven Nursing Home.
She was born to Andrew and Mary Peterson on Aug. 20, 1932 near Reliance, S.D. There were eight children.
Her father was a farmer and raised wheat. She has some childhood memories of living in South Dakota, like summer dust storms, cold winters, having to cover their dad's Model A car, and sometimes taking the horse and wagon to town.
At age 16 she began working at a hotel during the week and at a restaurant on the weekends.
Evelyn met and married Charles Durham in South Dakota. They had five children.
When their youngest was eight months old, the family moved to Oregon for a job opportunity. Evelyn was head cook at the Golden Gate in Oregon.
Charles & Evelyn were divorced.
Later Evelyn met and married Tony Wolken. Jobs were scarce, so after about five years Evelyn and her family, along with her new husband, moved to Ridgeville Corners. Tony worked at a foundry in Wauseon.
They bought a house on Route 6 in Ridgeville Corners and finished raising their family there. Evelyn's son Andy was killed in a car accident around 1989, and her husband Tony died in 1996. Recently, her son Larry died. Her three daughters are Peggy (Keith) Oyer, rural Archbold; Joyce Lincoln, Michigan, and Lynne Durham, Arlington, Va.
She has seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Over the years, Evelyn kept busy raising her family, gardening, canning, cooking, and baking. Her specialties were pumpkin pie and chocolate chip cookies. She also was known for her potato salad. Evelyn did embroidering for enjoyment.