A Day to Celebrate

A Day to Celebrate

Photo of Beulah Balmer

Beulah Lynn Lemm Balmer, a 1927 graduate from Chico State Teacher’s College, had a surprise waiting for her at her Sept. 12 birthday gathering in Chico. CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg was there to recognize her with an award for being the oldest living CSU alum, reading a letter from Sen. Jim Nielson along with a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate. She had just turned 107.

Balmer says she was thrilled to receive the award and reminisced with her guests, including her sister and niece, about various moments in her life. She has lived through 17 presidencies and witnessed the emergence of technological marvels from radio to the Internet. When asked what her favorite year has been, she said, “This one.”

Balmer, the oldest of nine children, was born in Faniani Meadows in Plumas County in 1907, the same year her family moved to Chico. She began teaching in 1927, served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1943 to 1945, and finished her teaching career in Seattle from 1946 to 1967. She was married to husband Charles for 55 years, and among her favorite activities was ice skating; she even qualified for the Olympics but says she wasn’t interested in participating.

Nowadays, Balmer lives in Country Village Retirement Facility in Chico, and can often be found sharing stories with friends and family.