On April 12, Oakhurst resident Violet Palmberg celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends. She was born April 13, 1915 to Anthony and Sarah Middleton on a ranch in Ventura County. As part of a large family, Palmberg was the youngest of 14 siblings and is the only sibling to reach the century milestone.
Mrs. Palmberg said she can still recall riding to and from school in a wagon driven by her sisters and having their school teacher live at home with the family. She recalls going to silent films, seeing search lights from the Los Angeles area announcing the end of World War I, and being taken to Santa Barbara to see the destruction caused by the famous 1926 earthquake.
Palmberg met her husband, Bert Palmberg, in Sebastopol when her family moved there in the late 1920s. Together they raised five children; Lavina Palmberg of Merced, Jo Ann Barnes of Coarsegold, Fay Jensen (deceased), Pete Palmberg (deceased), and Bobbi Rachuba of Toledo, Ohio.
Palmberg’s family resided in Selma for many years before moving to the Oakhurst Area in the 1950s, and opening a plumbing business located in the Rock building on Highway 41. A septic tank pumping service was later added which is still operated by their grandson, Rex Jensen.
Mrs. Palmberg is an artist and has directed her many talents to local activities including sewing clothes (even formal gowns for her girls), ceramics, leather tooling, cake decorating, knitting, crocheting, making teddy bears, and numerous other arts and crafts. She took painting lessons in Oakhurst.
Though her eyesight has recently limited some of her artistic endeavors, her continued interest in color and design has led her to decorating small birdhouses as gifts for family and friends.