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Forum staff reports, Published August 28 2012

Vote for September Beautiful Woman

The nominations are in for September’s Beautiful Woman, and now’s your chance to have a say in who you’d like to see featured in SheSays on Sept. 24.

Go to http://beautifulwomenof.areavoices.com to read more about each woman and to vote for one of the following nominees or nominate a beautiful woman in your life.

Bea Ihlenfeld

Just shy of hitting the century mark, Bea Ihlenfeld exudes an energy many young adults would desire. An avid swimmer, Bea often jokes she is able to stay so active because she is “preserved with chlorine.”

Given her lifelong passion for fitness and sports, it’s no wonder she maintains a full lifestyle – despite her own physical limitations due to arthritis. For more than 30 years, she was a swimming regular at the local YMCA. Now at age 99, Bea swims three times a week at the Touchmark Health & Fitness Club.

And, if that’s not amazing enough, just two years ago at the age of 97, Bea shared her love of swimming by teaching youngsters – 80-year-old Touchmark residents – how to swim.

Bea came of age at a time when girls’ sports were not commonplace; as a result, she is a strong advocate of girls’ sports at all levels. Aside from fitness and sports, teaching is the other major pursuit in Bea’s life. In her professional life, she was a physical education teacher in the Fargo Public Schools for many years and later was the assistant principal at Fargo North High School.

As evidenced by her willingness to give swimming lessons to her fellow Touchmark residents, she is a teacher at heart who loves helping others succeed.

Bea’s inner beauty shines in the way she exudes kindness and compassion. Whether it’s from the smile on her face, the kind words always spoken, or her ability to overcome her physical limitations, Bea truly is an inspiration to all she meets. As a result of this, it is with great pleasure that we nominate Bea as one of the Beautiful Women of North Dakota.

Nominated by Mark Minette

Holley Jemtrud

My sister and I want to tell you about our mom. She is the most amazing person in the world.

Our dad drives truck out in the oil fields, so she is basically a single parent. But here is her story.

My mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer back in February. She had to go through nine weeks of chemo and radiation. She was working full time, and still went to work every day all day. She never complained and continued to take care of us kids no matter how bad she was feeling.

We don’t know how she does it because my sister and I are no angels by any means. She has since been cleared by the doctors and is in good health. My sister and I have come to appreciate everything our mom does for us no matter how little or big it may seem. We are very fortunate to have her.

Things could have been so different for our family. I want everyone out there to know how much we love and appreciate our mom.

I asked my little sister, who is 7, what is the one thing she loves about my mom and she said, “The way she smiles at me.” I am a boy who is 11 and doesn’t cry very easy, but that brought tears to my eyes.

I would have to say that I agree with my sister. No matter how bad things were or how bad she may have felt, she always had a smile on her face. We just want to say, “We love you, Mom. You are our rock.”

Nominated by Nick Jemtrud

Susan Rohde

Susan is the mother of four (ages 10, 9, 6 and 4), including son Jaxson, who has Williams syndrome. Having a special-needs kid takes a lot of Susan’s time, but she still works full time as a professional inpatient coding specialist for Lake Region Healthcare Corporation and volunteers for numerous organizations.

Including being an official for the Fergus Falls Flyer Swim Club, she is the secretary of the Home and School board at the kids’ school. She truly is the definition of beautiful – “delightful to see, hear or experience; lovely to the senses; having beauty”–both inside and out. She has a way not only with her kids but also with her friends, husband and co-workers in making them feel that they are the most important people in the world.

Beauty definitely is in the eye of the beholder, but anyone who knows Susan will tell you she is beautiful in many ways – even with her nine tattoos.

Nominated by Mickey Rohde