Turning 100 is undoubtedly a crowning achievement and a remarkable achievement for those lucky enough to be part of this elite group of super seniors.
And with all the advancements in medical technology, reaching centennial status is not that uncommon these days. In fact, those in this age group are fast becoming the fastest growing population in the world.
And with that, there are a lot of perks: the right to receive extra attention from family and friends and even the local media, recognition from US presidents and politicians, and other fun recognitions. .
So, if you’ve been lucky enough to hit that magic number, revel in all that comes with reaching the magnificent milestone.
The last Staten Islander to achieve such prestigious status was the former Frances DAngelo who made her debut on March 27, 1921 with her parents Rosina and Stefano DAngelo, immigrants from Messina, Sicily.
Frances grew up in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn on Carroll and Henry Streets, the youngest of seven children Angelina, Peter, Joseph, Katherine, Antonia and Flora.
Rumor has it that when she first met her husband Nicholas LaLima in her hometown, there was no magic. However, over time, the love blossomed and the couple fell in love.
The LaLimas were married on February 20, 1973 and three years later moved to Great Kills as Nicholas owned the LaLimas Fish Market on Forest Avenue in West Brighton until his death on April 24, 2019.
Frances has always been at her best, and learned to sew from her mother everything her sisters did, said her niece, Sallie Belluardo of New Springville, married to Francess Frank’s nephew. During her younger years, she held a position in Manhattan’s Garment District as a dressmaker. She was still curious. And she loved solving crosswords every day.
A member of the Crafty Ladies of St. Clares RC Church, Frances has created all types of crafts with needle point being her highlight, which have been donated to exhibitions and fairs at Great Kills Parish.
Every Christmas, she gave us all an ornament that she made. And every year you’ll find them displayed on my tree, Sallie added proudly in her voice. Always curious and interested in learning, she planted irises, daffodils, tulips, and she tended her garden every day. Daffodils and lilies are now arriving at her home at Great Kills. And she always loved playing cards, Pokeno, Michigan Rummy, Rummy and the family played at every party. Sometimes we were very loud and we were always laughing. She has a big laugh. When we played Pokeno, she had her favorite card all 4 and if someone took her, trust me, she would get it back immediately, she continued.
A shrewd businesswoman, Frances was well acquainted with the real estate world and owned property which she rented and then sold when she moved to Staten Island in 1976.
Frances also knew her way around the dance floor and loved to dress like new. She was the elegant Audrey Hepburn type, Sallie added. Her hair was always beautifully combed and her clothes immaculate. She was a very classic Hollywood.
Extremely close to her nieces and nephews, Frances has always been the excellent cook who excels in gourmet dinners for the holidays especially on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve.
She did the nine yards, she added, and she even made special cookies because of my allergies. She was a caring person and a caring wife.
Sallie says her aunt has never been sick and has never taken medication of any kind.
Frances secret of longevity? Drink red wine every evening with dinner.
A socially distant, festive birthday party that followed COVID-19 guidelines filled with flowers and candy was hosted by Elizabeth Ratcliffe, director of Memory Care at The Brielle at Seaview, where attention center Frances resided for the past year and a half. .
And Frances was the woman of the hour when she featured on a Smuckers Pot during a segment of the NBC Today Show, Worldwide.
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