Winnie Daughen turns 100
The Upper New York Conference has a new centenarian! Winnifred (Winnie) Daughen turned 100 on March 20. And nobody would ever guess Winnie is 100. As her son-in-law, the Rev. Brad Hunt said, “She is as sharp as can be!”
Winnie has made amazing contributions to our Conference.
Winnie’s 100-year birthday party
On Saturday, March 18, Winnie had a small birthday celebration at her home in La Fargeville with family and friends. Her daughter Christine made her a cake and family members helped add 100 candles to it. All guests were given goodie bags with popcorn, M&Ms, a pen, and the kids’ bags had a toy added.
Attached to the bag was a poem Winnie wrote:
Having a 100-year party is lots of fun!
From the moment it begins
til the time it’s done.
Thank you so much for coming this day.
When you’re 100 it’s hard to
Kknow what to say.
Thank you all. I’m lucky to have family and friends like you.
I love and appreciate each of you.
Winnie’s parents immigrated to the United States from England a year before she was born. Her oldest brother was born on a boat.
Reminiscing about her life as a child, Winnie said, “I went to a rural schoolhouse through the eighth grade!”
Winnie occasionally went to Sunday School as a girl and the specific class for girls was called “Class in the Corner.”
She said, “My parents didn’t have much. We could only go to a church a bit.”
Becoming a Sunday School teacher
When Winnie had her own children (Shelly, Marcia (Marty), Steve, and Christine), she began regularly attending La Fargeville UMC. It was there that she felt her call from God to work with children. She began teaching Sunday School.
Winnie said, “Apparently I did a really good job because the North Central Conference Director of Christian Education asked me to teach demonstration classes at Watertown United Methodist Church and then all around the Conference.”
Working for the North Central Conference
Winnie became an employee of the North Central Conference. She had her own office at the Conference in Watertown where she would consult with teachers. She would also travel around to teach at their churches so they could see her suggestions in action.
What did Winnie do differently in her Sunday School classes?
She said, “I’d say my classes incorporated a lot of what I call ‘creative activities,’ not just constantly reading stories. The activities are what helped the kids learn and remember.”
Winnie took many classes in Christian Education and eventually became a Licensed Local Pastor. She served churches on Wellesley Island and in Alexandria Bay. She was also very active at Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center, serving as acting director whenever the director would take a vacation.
Reflecting on her dozens of years working in Christian Education and pastoring, Winnie said, “I really enjoyed it. I had my fingers in about everything at the Conference!”
Winnie’s hat ministry
When Winnie retired, she started her crocheted-hat ministry. She crochets hats for children in need. Winnie keeps a tally of all the hats she has crocheted. To date, she has crocheted 5,370 hats!
Brad has brought several to refugees in Syracuse and Binghamton.
Winnie said, “I feel like you have to live out of faith—you have to do whatever you can to make the world better for someone. It makes me feel good that my hats can help children feel warmer.”