Odette’s apartment at Vista Prairie at Goldfinch Estates in Fairmont, MN is beautifully decorated for the holidays. At nearly 97, her memories of life in southwest Minnesota are colorful and clear, starting with her busy school years in Mountain Lake.
“When I was in high school, I was involved in everything,” Odette recounts. “I played in the band, I sang in the chorus, and I was a basketball player -- and at that time we only played half-court.”
Odette put her ability to handle multiple priorities to good use when she and Harlan, her first husband, bought a greenhouse in 1952 with the help of a relative. The couple grew a successful Fairmont area business, and the greenhouse supported their growing family, which included three sons. Following Harlan’s untimely death in 1990, Odette and her youngest son Jon continued to operate the greenhouse, eventually with the help of Jon’s wife LaNette.
While springtime was her favorite season at the greenhouse, Odette says the holidays were a close second, “We grew a lot of poinsettias and azaleas,” she recalls. She also describes the 400 memorial urns they produced, which beautify cemeteries throughout the region.
The business, which became a Fairmont institution, was purchased last March by a young couple. Odette and the family are proud to see their legacy live on. The Fairmont Sentinel recently reported that 70 years ago, Odette and Harlan opened the greenhouse. Jon was born into it, and LaNette has been involved for the past 40 years. They’re celebrating the transfer of the greenhouse to the hands, and green thumbs, of the new owners.
Odette moved into Goldfinch Estates last July. She says the Goldfinch staff has been very accommodating. Stop by and let Brody show you around. The community offers 92 one and two-bedroom assisted living apartments for seniors who want access to supportive services while maintaining their independence, in addition to its 41 memory care suites.