Lennart Swartz, Chairman, Church of Sweden San Francisco; Inez Dahlberg, 105 years old; Pastor Staffan Simonsson. Friends from various Bay Area Swedish organizations gathered to celebrate Swedish born Inez Dahlberg, of San Francisco, who turned 105 years old on April 12.
by Britta Swartz The birthday child Inez was joyful and all dressed up, wearing a “Happy Birthday” tiara. Chef Pelle had prepared a delicious smörgåsbord enjoyed by all attending friends.
Church of Sweden San Francisco was represented by Vicar Staffan Simonsson, his assistant, Frida Willis and Lennart Swartz, Chairman of the Board. They brought flowers and greetings from the congregation.
After the singing of “Ja, må hon leva,” “Happy Birthday,” “Den blomstertid nu kommer” and four cheers, it was time for Inez to blow out the candles on the big princess cake.
It was a wonderful party to be remembered by all.
Inez was born in 1905 in Brömsebro, Blekinge. She has a vivid memory of how she worked long, hard hours in a family nursery in Kungsbacka and how she sold flowers at the market in Göteborg. When she was 19, her aunt in San Francisco convinced her to come to America. She left in December 1924, spent Christmas on board the old ship Stockholm, and arrived in New York in January 1925. From there she traveled by train via Chicago to San Francisco. To her surprise the train conductor was Swedish and he was a great help during the trip.
In San Francisco, she met her future husband at the Swedish American Hall on Market Street. They married and moved to an apartment on Noe Street near the hall and close to a Swedish grocery store. They bought their first car, a Ford, and paid $30 cash.
In 1940 the couple bought a house for $3,500 on 11th Avenue near Golden Gate Park. Inez’s husband was a carpenter, and they worked hard on fixing up the house. Many years later the house sold for $575,000. Inez says with a twinkle in her eye, “That was a good deal!”
After 60 years together Inez’s husband died at the age of 90. She now lives in a residential care facility in South San Francisco where she loves to tell visitors about her long and eventful life.
Lennart Swartz, Chairman of the Board, Church of Sweden San Francisco; Inez Dahlberg, 105 years old; Pastor Staffan Simonsson, Church of Sweden San Francisco and Los Angeles