Woodrow Wilson was president. The United States entered World War I. Mary Pickford starred in the movie, “A Poor Little Rich Girl.” Such was life in 1917 and Southington Care Center’s four centenarians – then infants or toddlers – were there.
In a celebration of lives well lived, Southington Care Center at 45 Meriden Ave. in Southington, threw a party Sept. 24 for the residents who are more than 100 years old. Honorees were Anna Petrillo, 101; Keveta (Greta) Liczek, 101; Mary Raffenello, 102; and Kathryn Carey, 102. All four women have resided for years at Southington Care Center, which provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.
“These are four amazing women representing 406 years of life: their experiences, history and sense of humor,” said William Kowalewski, Southington Care Center executive director. “When I said to one of the ladies, ‘See you next year,’ she responded, ‘I will be attending – will you?’ The annual Centenarian Luncheon is one of the care center’s most treasured events.”
Alexis Chiucarello, director of therapeutic recreation, worked with the Rocky Hill Historical Society to obtain items on display including toys and a World War I uniform. Chef Tracy Cusano created the menu based on her grandmother’s cookbook from that era. Families and friends attended to celebrate their loved ones.
The guests of honor included:
Anna Petrillo, 101, was born on July 27, 1916, in Southington, where she lived all her life. She had 11 siblings: eight brothers and three sisters. She worked in various factories in Southington since she was 15 years old, stating, “I did all the work that the men didn’t want to do.” She has two children, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. When not working and helping her single brothers and sisters, she enjoyed crocheting and keeping house.
Keveta “Greta” Liczek, 101, was born April 24, 1916, in Prague, Czech Republic. In 1939, when she 23 years old, she and her family sailed on the ocean liner Bremen to the U.S. She lived in Shelton until she moved to Southington in 2005. She has two daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She enjoys cooking and is known for her delicious baked goods.
Mary Raffenello, 102, was born March 29, 1915, in New Britain. She had three children, followed by eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She worked at Landers, Frary & Clark and the former New Britain General Hospital, now the Hospital of Central Connecticut. She enjoyed expressing her creativity through painting, quilting — all stitched by hand — and still enjoys nurturing flowers as well as winning at bingo
Kathryn Carey, 102, was born March 24, 1915, and lived in the same home in Waterbury for more than 80 years. She had heavy responsibilities when her mother died at an early age so at age 20 she was in charge of her brother and sister. She worked at Southington New England Ice and Oil in Waterbury and her husband worked at W.T. Grants and Scovill Manufacturing in Waterbury. They were married 52 years. Carey attributes walking twice daily to keeping her healthy.
This is the second year that Southington Care Center has honored its centenarians.
For more information about Southington Care Center, click here.