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Living a quiet life in Farmington

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Farmington, 55024
Farmington Independent
651-463-7730 customer support
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Florence Vincent celebrated her 94th birthday Tuesday. In her room at Trinity Care Center there are silver-and-white mylar balloons tied to a chair.

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That's a lot of years to remember, and for Vincent it's been a lot of years in Farmington.

Vincent was born here on Jan. 6, 1915 and with the exception of five years when she and her husband moved around South Dakota because of his job she has lived her life here.

Farmington was a different city when Vincent was growing up. It had fewer residents but more businesses. Vincent lists off grocery stores and meat markets, men's clothing stores and drug stores.

"There were restaurants and the banks and car places. A blacksmith and a harness shop," Vincent said. "There wasn't paved streets all over and not much going on."

Vincent was one of six children. She grew up going to dances and playing with friends. She was working in a five and dime when she met the man who would become her husband. His name was Kenneth, and he'd moved to Farmington from South Dakota to escape the dust storms in that state. He worked for her uncle, a dairy farmer, delivering bottled milk.

Florence met Kenneth over a piece of pumpkin pie at a family gathering at her grandmother's house. Someone suggested Kenneth have a piece of the pie and he said he would as long as Florence fed it to him.

"That was the start of our romance," Vincent said. "He said he looked the whole world over to find me at the five and dime."

Florence and Kenneth were married for 51 years and had two children, a son and a daughter.

"He was just a hard worker. A good personality and kind to people," Florence said. "He was kind to everybody. Giving of himself."

Kenneth died 17 years ago and Florence still misses him.

Over the years Vincent has been a housewife and a fill-in worker at an elementary school cafeteria. She worked at the creamery in Farmington and sang in the choir at Faith United Methodist Church.

Vincent lived on her own until 2007, when she broke her left femur. She moved to the Trinity Terrace assisted living facility. She broke her right femur last year and, after she'd recovered, moved to the nursing home.

Vincent gets around in a wheelchair now. She rolls herself back and forth as she talks about her life. It's been a good one, too. Her son is visiting from South Dakota this week. Her daughter lives in Edina. She's got four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Vincent says repeatedly that she doesn't think her life was particularly interesting. But she's happy with the way it turned out.

"I guess I lived a pretty quiet life," she said.

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