By Raiza Giorgi

Two local residents at Atterdag Village of Solvang turned 100 years young recently. The first was Thelma Gilbson (Nilson) who turned 100 on May 26, 2020. She had a great social distancing birthday and got to talk her her family who sent flowers and gifts. 

Thelma Gibson turned 100 years old in May. She is pictured at an earlier birthday with two of her great-grandchildren Reagan and Sloane.
Photo contributed

Thelma was born in Spokane, Wash., in 1920 and she worked as a legal secretary, and for the Army Corps of Engineers in San Diego during WWII. She met and married her husband Wilbur Gilbert in 1945 and moved to Los Angeles at the end of the war. They had two children Karen (Forbes) and Gail (Giorgi). 

Thelma came to the Santa Ynez Valley in 1980 with her second husband Patrick Gibson and they liked to go bowling and square dancing. She taught line dancing in her 80’s in town and she was the president of the Santa Ynez Valley Women’s Club for two terms. She also worked for King Fredrick Inn in Solvang for several years and was a volunteer for the Auxiliary. 

Thelma and her friend Ann went on several cruises in their 70’s and 80’s. She is very loved by her friends and family including her children, three grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. 

Claire Zimmerman turned 100 years old on Tuesday, August 5, 2020. She had a wonderful, socially distant, Birthday celebration at Atterdag Village of Solvang that also included several floral arrangements, balloons and birthday goodies delivered from friends.

Claire was born in Switzerland in 1920 and later became a US citizen. She was a nurses aide for many years and enjoyed helping people.

Prior to moving to Atterdag Village of Solvang in January of 2002, Claire lived with her husband in San Mateo. She loved to entertain, garden and was gifted at needle point and flower arrangement. Every year Claire and her husband would travel to Palm Springs from their home in San Mateo. On one of their trips they stopped in Solvang to visit a friend at Atterdag Village. Both Claire and her husband were impressed with the retirement community and planned to move to the community in the future. Since moving to Atterdag Village Claire has made lots of friends, enjoying many events and activities and loves the food. Claire attributes her longevity to a good outlook on life and keeping fit and still goes to exercise class several days a week.

When asked what she would tell her younger self Claire replied “be happy!”.

Happy 100th birthday to both Thelma and Claire!