FARGO — Sherman Hoganson was born in 1918, the year a deadly flu began decimating the world.

But, he survived the pandemic and went on to have a successful life that included serving in the military and working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as a bank examiner, a job that for many years took him all over the United States.

In November, Hoganson turned 102 at Rosewood on Broadway, a senior living center in north Fargo where Hoganson has resided for a little over a year and where on Wednesday, Jan. 6, he received a vaccination against COVID-19.

Hoganson said the shot didn't hurt and he felt more protected from a virus that has claimed nearly 370,000 lives in the U.S. alone.

Sherman Hoganson holds up a chalkboard expressing holiday wishes from this past Thanksgiving, which he spent at Rosewood on Broadway, a senior housing center in north Fargo where he lives. Special to The Forum
Sherman Hoganson holds up a chalkboard expressing holiday wishes from this past Thanksgiving, which he spent at Rosewood on Broadway, a senior housing center in north Fargo where he lives. Special to The Forum

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"It's just a matter of doing it, that's all," Hoganson said, referring to getting the shot.

His concern about contracting a COVID-19 infection is warranted, according to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which states that 8 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 have involved people 85 or older.

While Hoganson was too young in 1918 to remember anything about the earlier pandemic, he said a young woman who worked as a domestic in his family's home in Perley, Minn., became a casualty.

"There was a farm girl who was hired and she died in our house. My parents never mentioned that, but I learned it from my sisters," Hoganson said.

One of those sisters, the late Olive Anderson Kester, became mother to Dean Anderson, of Savage, Minn., who described his uncle Sherman as having retained much of the sharp mind that stood him in good stead back in the day, when he investigated financial wrongdoing.

"He (Sherman) was actually the head of a big crew," Anderson said, adding that his uncle served in the armed forces during World War II and participated in an Honor Flight to Washington at the age of 99.

Even at 102, Anderson said, his uncle reads the newspaper and tries to keep on top of what's happening.

"He's pretty with it," Anderson added.