Adele backed by family and friends: Left to right -- Son Russ, daughter Diane, daughter-in-law Katy and son Terry. In back, her next door neighbor Bob Murray.
Adele Sjoberg Celebrates 90 Years of Bridge, 100 Masterpoints
Adele Sjoberg, who turns 98 in July, has been playing bridge longer than most of us have been alive.
"I started playing in the small town of Rhame, North Dakota, when I was about 8 years old," she recalled recently. Her memories had been stirred by a surprise party the club gave here June 13, marking her recent winning of her 100th masterpoint.
"In those days," she said, "it was auction bridge, where you got what you made and didn't have to bid it.
Bridge was very much a family game, and most of my parents' friends played regularly.
"The most outstanding player was my mother. Dad was good too, but didn't have time to play as much," she remarked.
"My mother believed that if there were four people in a room, they should absolutely be playing bridge.
"I played a lot of bridge in high school, but not as much in college."
Her first husband, Russel Kittleson, a tool maker, "grew up with it too. In those days, it was kind of a universal game in that part of the country."
Before she and her husband moved to Michigan, she taught in a tiny town school that had first, second and third graders all together in one classroom. She taught kindergarten for 30 years in Michigan, retiring in 1984.
"Bridge was the major component of our social life in Detroit while we were raising our family," Adele recalled. "We played many Friday and Saturday nights with friends, and I belonged to the same women's bridge club for 50 years.
"I remember my husband complaining because if we were playing on a Friday night after I had taught school all week, I would literally fall asleep between bids!
"We bought our cottage up here in 1967 and that led to many hours of bridge with our family."
Adele said she played duplicate "occasionally through the years, but didn't join ACBL until this bridge club was built.
"I always loved both offense and defense, but now that my vision is so poor, I prefer it when my partner plays the hand."
Her daughter, Diane Nichols, noted that when Adele is declarer now, she gets her partner to
to just tell her the high cards in each suit, and she remembers them! "We are all so grateful that people at the bridge club are so kind and understanding when they play with her," Diane said.
Adele studies the dummy. She was partnered by her daughter, Diane. At right, Bill Zousmer.
At right, the cake, with balloons.
Below, Mary Ann Vorhees, daughter-in-law Katy Sjoberg and Adele.