Lina J. Huhtala Harbo, who was born 100 years ago in the once-thriving Mesabi Iron Range town of Mountain Iron, Minn., died on Nov. 2, 2013 at Harbor Hill in Belfast after a brief illness. She had been a resident of Belfast since 2006 when she moved to Maine from Rock Hill, S.C., where she had resided for 20 years.

Born on July 13, 1913, she was the eldest child of Victor and Anna Lehtinen Huhtala.

Her Finnish parents settled in Minnesota during the great migration from northern Europe in the early 20th century. She and her siblings were bilingual, speaking and writing both Finnish and English, and benefited from the sustained investment the mining companies made in public schools and other cultural institutions in the area. She was a member of her high school’s swimming and girls’ basketball teams.

Soon after graduating from high school, she married Erling W. Harbo, who was an educator — a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools — in northern Minnesota. The Harbos’ only child, Kristin Laina, was born in 1940.

In 1942, Mr. Harbo joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the couple then made a number of career-related moves, living in a variety of cities including Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Duluth, Minn, Seattle and San Francisco. They eventually settled in Livermore, Calif. After his service with the FBI, her husband worked in security for the University of California’s Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, retiring in 1972.

While in Seattle, Harbo decided to work outside the home and took a job as a real estate broker. After the move to Livermore, she joined Sandia National Laboratories, where she worked until 1978 when she retired from the accounting department.

Fifty years ago, long before a focus on health and fitness became part of the national consciousness, Harbo took a keen interest in good nutrition. She altered her diet, grew organic fruits and vegetables, regularly ate a variety of whole grains, took many vitamins and nutritional supplements and extolled the benefits of cod liver oil. Until recently, she exercised regularly and was in excellent health.

On her 100th birthday this past July, friends and family members from across the nation gathered in Belfast to celebrate her vibrant life. President Barack Obama sent a letter of congratulations to mark her centennial year.

Harbo was preceded in death by her husband, who died in 1980, and by her daughter, who died in 2004. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her sister, Lila Huhtala Hess, and two brothers, Victor O. Hewitt and William J. Huhtala.

She is survived by six nieces and nephews: Gretchen H. Daly and husband, John, of Belfast; Jennifer H. Asher and husband, James, of Glenwood, MD; Barbara H. Rawlings and husband, Richard, of Shorewood, MN; Robert L. Hewitt and wife, Catherine, of Lutsen, MN; Ronald W. Hewitt and wife, Cynthia, of Eden Prairie, MN; and Mark W. Huhtala and wife, Patricia, of Marinette, WI. She is survived also by 13 great-nieces and great-nephews and 12 great-great-nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, at The First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ, 104 Church St., Belfast.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The First Church in Belfast, UCC, at its mailing address, 8 Court St., Belfast, ME 04915. Arrangements are being made by Young Funeral Home in Searsport. (mitchell-tweedie-young.com)