GLENVILLE – Glendale Nursing Home’s annual celebration of centenarians Wednesday included a larger than normal group of nine residents.
To fanfare, the group received legislative commendations and were treated to their favorite lunch from area eateries at the Schenectady County institution.
Three of the honorees are having birthdays this week.
At 103, Irene Healey is its oldest resident, followed by 102-year-olds Hester Male and Mary Reber. Reber’s birthday was Tuesday.
Adele Leehrsen, Dorothy C. Frederick and Winifred L. Tyrell are 101. Mary Pomato turns 101 Friday. John Marciniak, the lone man of the group, turns 101 Saturday. Linda Senn is 100.
“Everybody stand up,” Pomato cracked of their collective frailty.
State Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville, gave everyone a citation and special coin that he said acknowledged their collective tax contributions, which he said helped with important infrastructure projects, healthcare and young people’s educations.
“I would venture to guess, if we added up all the tax dollars you paid over the years collectively here, which kind of gets close to, unbelievably 1,000 years – my goodness we could balance the New York state budget.”
County Legislator Sara Mae Pratt also gave the group individual certificates.
As Marciniak enjoyed a hot dog and fries from Mike’s Hot Dogs of Schenectady, along with a beer, the Army veteran who served in World War II as a B-17 “side gunner” expressed appreciation for the attention.
“It’s a milestone,” he said. “God was good enough to give me a long life.”
A native of Lansing Street in Schenectady, Marciniak said he spent his working career at General Electric and as an accountant, and attributed walking to his longevity.
“Five mile walks I took as often as I could after I retired,” he said. “During my working years, I used to sneak my lunch at my desk – I had an office – and ate it gradually so I could spend one hour walking as much as I could.”
Just shy of living through two pandemics, Marciniak said he didn’t get infected with COVID-19.
“I feel sorry for all the people that got caught up in the darn thing,” he said.
The event coincided with National Centenarian’s Day.
Tracie Denny, director of activity services at the 200-bed facility, said the group of nine was a bit larger than most years. There’s usually six or seven, and she noted a few more residents are turning 100 throughout November and December.
“Hopefully next year we’ll have even more,” she said. “We think this is a big deal for our residents.”