Celebrating 96 years: Local woman recalls early days of her life

Beatrice and Calvin Brandt celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.

Beatrice Brandt has always been used to having a large family.

“I was born and raised on a farm in Omemee (in Bottineau County) with my nine siblings. One had passed, so eight of us lived there,” Brandt said. “We went to school there until my father bought a farm near Kramer, which is where my late husband, Calvin, was from.”

It was in Kramer, while in the seventh grade, that Beatrice met Calvin Brandt.

“Calvin had been a part of my life since the seventh grade,” Brandt said. “We were married for 72 years. He was my best friend, had a great sense of humor, and all he wanted to do was make me happy. I had a great marriage to a great man.”

Calvin Brandt had been a farmer in Newburg, where he and his family had lived until a wonderful job opportunity arose for his wife.

Beatrice Brandt and her late husband, Calvin Brandt, are shown on their wedding day.

“We had lived on a farm out by Newberg, where I had been teaching. Then we had found out that they needed teachers in Minot and they had offered me more money, so we bought a house that had just been built and moved to Minot,” Brandt said.

The farming business had been growing in North Dakota during that time, so the Brandts wanted to continue to farm as well as allow Beatrice the opportunity to teach in a bigger town.

“Calvin would go back and forth from the farm while we lived in Minot,” Brandt said. “But in order to be successful you had to buy a lot of land, and at that time there was always somebody that got to it first. So, Calvin decided to cash rent out his land and move into the house with me full time.”

Beatrice Brandt taught for 24 years across many ages before her and her husband’s career paths changed again.

“I taught first grade for my first year and then moved to fifth grade the following year. I loved being a teacher. I loved the first graders, but they are the hardest,” she said. “When they get it, they let you know.”

“I taught for 24 years before we ended up buying a motel,” Brandt said. “I was able to quit teaching and we lived in and ran the Ho-Hum Motel for a number of years before hiring managers.”

After moving a number of times and living near the Boys and Girls Ranch in their post-motel days, the Brandts decided to move once again.

“We chose this area and really wanted to build our own house, but my Realtor convinced us to take a look at a townhouse. She showed us this house and as soon as I walked in I knew it was the one,” Brandt said. “And I’ve been here for 22 years since.”

With a new spacious and lovely home Brandt and her husband could entertain and host their many many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“I have three children, two daughters and a son. I have nine grandchildren that I am so proud of, 10 great-grandchildren, and now, three great-great-grandchildren,” she said.

You wouldn’t expect a family so large to be so close but all of them consistently spend time with one another.

“Each of them come and stay with me every month. I am so blessed with seeing my great- grandkids as often as I do,” she said. “I am so proud of all of them. They have worked so hard and they have great jobs and even greater character.”

Each of Brandt’s grandchildren have followed in the footsteps of their late grandfather.

“My husband had a heart of gold, and my grandchildren pattern their lives after him, and they even say so themselves,” she said.

Not only does her family follow in her husband’s footsteps by having great character and amazing work ethic, but they are dedicated to making Beatrice Brandt happy.

On Saturday, Feb 17, Brandt turned 96 and had herself a birthday to remember.

“Oh gosh, what went on here,” she said. “I had a full day. My granddaughter came and stayed a few days and cooked for all of us. I had so many calls from my family and friends. My daughter wished me happy birthday on social media and the comments were wonderful. Birthday wishes from old pupils and some people I haven’t even seen in a long time,” Brandt said.

After a full day of birthday wishes and happiness, Brandt was left with one feeling.

“I felt so blessed, she said. “It’s just different. There are not many people who can say they have contact with that many family members. I am so blessed with the love of my grandchildren and family.”


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