Kewaunee Centenarian attributes hard work and saying rosary to her long life
One of Kewaunee County’s oldest citizens, Myrtle Blahnik Dallmann, turned 100 recently.
Born in Kewaunee in 2016, she was the second of four girls born to Louis and Anna (Shimanek) Blahnik and attended Marquette School and the Holy Rosary School, where she graduated from eighth grade in 1929. She graduated from Kewaunee High School in 1933.
“The changes my mother witnessed during her life are amazing,” said her daughter, Nadine Voegeli. “She lived through 17 United States presidents – from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama … from rotary phones to iPhones, from Model A Fords to SUVs, from Big Chief tablets to iPads, and from a water pump in the back yard to bottled water.”
During her senior year in high school, Dallman organized a “Girls Brass Band.” The band’s original members included Dallman, Betty Gloe, Helena Simon, Ruth Roubal, Gladys Bultman, Annie Kacerovsky, Betty Blahnik, Olive Blahnik, and Dorothy Taddy. Following in the music traditions of her Czech grandfather Joseph Blahnik and her father, Myrtle’s band often accompanied her grandfather’s band to their gigs around the county and played during band breaks.
“They were quite popular with the audiences,” said Voegeli.
Dallman ventured to Chicago during World War II to work in a radio factory. When she crippled a finger in a punch press, she returned to Kewaunee and took a job in Two Rivers at the Montgomery Ward store as a clerk.
It was there that she met “Bud” Dallman of Two Rivers and began dating him. Dallman was an Army Air Corps cadet, and they wed at Austin Army Airfield (now the site of Bergstrom Airport) on Valentine’s Day 1945. The Air Force stationed them in Texas and they had two daughters there: Nadine in 1945 and Diane in 1948.
Myrtle ended up a single parent in 1953 and moved to Washington, D.C., where she took a job with the Government Accounting Office, working in the law library for 20 years.
She returned to Kewaunee in 1995 and still lives in the house her father built.
“When asked the secret to living 100 years, our feisty super senior replied ‘hard work, and eating lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, exercising and saying the Rosary every day,'” Voegeli said.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Kewaunee Centenarian attributes hard work and saying rosary to her long life