It is always just amazing and truly fascinating to see people who are living long, fulfilling lives. Some of the oldest-living residents are right here in South Dakota.

South Dakota residents Berneice Johnson and Hazel Ness are both over 100-years-old. What's another funny coincidence? These women actually have something very specific in common. Not only are they the oldest living residents in the state, they also are the same age!

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Berneice Johnson and Hazel Ness are!


Some experiences Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken enjoys sharing with his social media followers are his visits with Berneice Johnson. She just happens to live in Sioux Falls! The pictures Mayor TenHaken shares on his Facebook are too precious!

Mayor Paul TenHaken loves to document his chats with Berneice. In fact, one encounter was mentioned as one of the Mayor’s highlights of 2021. At the time of that meeting, Berneice was 106-years-old.

When it comes to the story of Hazel Ness, our friends at Pigeon605 featured her inspiring story with "pigeons" around the Sioux Empire. Hazel is even the 2022 South Dakota Centenarian of the Year.


According to the story from Pigeon605, Hazel and her family are proud Norwegians. Her parents Andrew and Marie Christopherson were Norwegian immigrants, making Hazel a first-generation American in her family. She is one of seven children in her family who all worked on the family farm near Clark.

Hazel currently lives at the Roetell Senior Housing in Clark, South Dakota. She is the proud grandmother of six grandchildren and cherished great-grandmother to six great-grandchildren. Her secret to living a long life? “Take each day as it comes,” Hazel tells Pigeon605. “Don’t get too excited or let things upset you.”

I've been very fortunate in my life to know not one, but multiple great-grandparents and great aunts. These relationships are truly something special you'll always treasure!

Sioux Falls: Then and Now

The City of Sioux Falls has changed dramatically over the past several years. Some of the streets, landscapes, and neighborhoods look vastly different than just 10-15 years ago.

Here's a look at Sioux Falls, then-and-now. See if you can recognize some of these old buildings, businesses, and city streets.

SEE: Sioux Falls New Jefferson High School

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