County Celebrates 66 Centenarians

Sixty-six centenarians, born the same year World War I ended, were honored at Delaware County’s 16th annual Centenarian Birthday Luncheon, 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, at the Drexelbrook Events Center in Upper Darby.

The eldest celebrant, Marion Roth, of White Horse Village, is 109 years old. A chocoholic, Marion credits her longevity to eating lots of cheese, butter, and potato chips.

For this year’s event, 190 centenarians were identified in Delaware County and 66 were able to attend the luncheon at the Drexelbrook, according to Denise V. Stewart, director of the County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) that hosts the luncheon.

Centenarians who cannot attend will be visited by COSA staff and presented with a proclamation.

Nine U.S. Veterans were in attendance. Sarah Nader, 106, of Granite Farms in Middletown Township, first sergeant in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC); Sylvan Brandman, 102, of Philadelphia, captain in the Army; Nikolas Jekogian, 100, of Maris Grove in Concord Township, sergeant in the Army, 80th Infantry Division; Guy Norcini, 101, of Dunwoody in Newtown Township, staff sergeant in the Army Air Corps; Sidney August, 99, of the Quadrangle in Haverford Township, U.S. Army; Harry Murdoch, 99, of Upper Darby Township, U.S. Army; Regina Saracino, 100, of Bryn Mawr Terrace in Radnor Township, lieutenant in the Navy; Arslan Seraydarian, 100, of Marple Township, U.S. Army; Edmund Jones, 100, of Swarthmore, captain in the Army.

In 1918, when these centenarians were just babies, the House of Representatives passed an amendment allowing women to vote, and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs for the 1918 World Series Championship, their last World Series win until 2004.

Also in 1918, “Tarzan of the Apes” premiered and the grocery bag with handles was invented.

Frances Braxton, 100, of Chester, and her husband were long-time family friends with Betty and Barney Hill, the first people involved in a widely publicized report of an alien abduction in the United States. During the mid-eighties and nineties, she was bitten by the acting bug and appeared as an extra in several movies such as Snake Eyes with Nicolas Cage, Mannequin 2, and The Meteor Man, a Robert Townsend movie.

Other centenarians include:

Sidney August, 99, of the Quadrangle in Haverford Township, served in the U.S. Army during WWII. He received a degree in Library Science and held the first library position with the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. in 1941-1942.

Mary A. Lastowka, 99, of Concord Township, grew up in the west end of Chester known as “Little Ireland.”

She and her husband raised 7 children and were very proud that all have graduated from college. She enjoys watching sports, including the Eagles, the Phillies, and college basketball. Her March Madness picks are usually near the top of the standings!

Mary E. Hines, 102, of Brinton Manor in Concord Township, is the matriarch of six generations. She has 3 granddaughters, 10 great-grandchildren, 25 great-great grandchildren, and one great-great-great grandson.

When she retired, she traveled extensively. She enjoyed 34 cruises, took many trips to Hawaii and throughout the United States, and visited Europe.

Pearl A. Sand, 99, of Wesley Enhanced Living in Media, learned to play the piano at Settlement Music School. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education and taught at Hillcrest School in Upper Darby for 32 years. After retirement, she learned to play the violin and played with the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra. She sang in the Delaware Valley Community Chorus.

Rose Perkis, 99, of Collingdale, took her first motorcycle ride at the age of 78. She enjoys playing Scrabble and card games and can still beat people half her age! She is in excellent health and visits the doctor only for regular check-ups. She says she has never had a headache in her life. Regarding doctors and medicals tests, which she avoids, she says, “What you don’t know, won’t hurt you!”

Celebrating Delaware County’s Centenarians

Delaware County Council attended a celebration for residents 100 years or older during Delaware County’s 16th annual Centenarian Birthday Luncheon held at the Drexelbrook on May 23. 190 centenarians have been identified in Delaware County and this year 66 centenarians attended the celebration, nine of whom are U.S. Veterans. The eldest celebrant, Marion Roth, of White Horse Village, is 109 years old. Council commended the staff at COSA (County of Delaware Services for the Aging) for organizing the event and for the work they do each day to ensure Delaware County seniors across the county lead healthy, safe and fulfilling lives.

From left: Councilman Mike Culp, Chairman John McBlain, Councilman Brian Zidek, Anne Tripp, Vice Chair Colleen Morrone, Executive Director Marianne Grave, Marion Roth, Councilman Kevin Madden and Louis Tucker.