Moorhead woman born in small North Dakota town turns 108

Lillian Moran 3.JPG
Lillian Moran pictured with her father in his Flora, N.D., blacksmith shop in 1914. Photo provided to WDAY
We are part of The Trust Project.

MOORHEAD — She says she was the first child ever born in Maddock, N.D., and she turned 108 on Monday, March 18.

Lillian Moran of Moorhead's Eventide Senior Living uses humor to describe aging, and if you ask her for advice about growing old she's as practical as it gets:

"Keep breathing."


Moran comes from great genetics when it comes to aging. Her Scandinavian grandmother had 13 children and lived to be 103.

lillian 2.jpg
Lillian Moran of Moorhead turned 108 Monday, March 18. WDAY photo

She celebrated her 108th birthday without fanfare or a big party, and had no plans to dance either. Though she wasn't short of one-liners.

"This thing does not dance very gracefully," she joked from her wheelchair.

Before World War I and the Ford Model A, Lillian Moran lived on a farm, milking cows and working the fields. Her father was a farmer and had a blacksmith shop in the small town of Flora, N.D., now a ghost town — no population.

"When you lived there, you got involved," Moran said, recalling working on threshing crews and helping on the cook car.

And when asked about their farmhouse — it was like everyone else's back then — it had an outdoor toilet and no electricity.


"Oh, yeah it was modern," Moran quipped.

Now at 108, she gets along just fine at Eventide.

"I am very amazed, takes no prescribed medication. None," Sandy Moran said of her mother-in law.

Related Topics: BIRTHDAYS
What to read next
In Minnesota, abortion is protected by the state’s constitution and is legal up to the point of viability, which is generally thought to begin at about 24 weeks, when the fetus can survive outside the womb. Those who work with Minnesotans who seek abortions say barriers, both legal and practical, forced some to travel to Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin even prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist says it's important to remember that we can't "fix" aging for our parents, but we can listen with empathy and validate their feelings.
“It’s clear that monkeypox has come to Minnesota,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield. “While our current cases are associated with travel outside Minnesota, we expect we will soon see cases among people who have no travel history or contact with someone who did, indicating that spread within social networks in Minnesota is occurring.”
Your body adjusts to hot weather slowly. So when heat waves hit, you need to know how to hydrate and stay cool to avoid heat-related illness. This is especially true for babies and older adults. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams gets tips from an emergency medicine doctor about how to stay healthy in extreme heat.