CROTON-ON-HUDSON - Bethel recently celebrated the lives of eight centenarians living at its Croton-on-Hudson and Ossining campuses. These ladies range in age from 100 – 105 and have some interesting stories to tell! Amid family, music, reminiscing and a salutary toast, these centenarians were recognized for the amazing milestone each of them has achieved and the experiences they’ve had along the way.
When she was in her 80’s, Rose Zoeller was still climbing up on her roof to make needed repairs! She came from Wallerstein, Germany in the 1930’s and worked as a hairdresser, nanny and maid in New York City, before marrying her husband. The couple moved to Putnam County where they bought land on the side of a mountain. Together, they cleared the property and built their house by themselves. Ms. Zoeller enjoyed the opera, classical music, philosophy, politics and was a wonderful cook. Today, at 103, she indulges in relaxing past times, buoyed by her memories and experiences.
Libia Rosa, 101, was a dressmaker her entire life and worked until she was 92. At the beginning of her career, she was the Head Seamstress for the newly formed Rockettes when Radio City Music Hall first opened. After four years, Ms. Rosa decided she did not like the commute and began to work out of her home in Pound Ridge. During her career, Ms. Rosa “dressed” well-know politicians, entertainers and socialites, but is not at liberty to disclose who they were.
The most senior of the centenarians, Anna Allen, 105, had been a ballerina and performed at The Metropolitan Opera Ballet in the 1930’s, under George Balanchine. She reads the New York Times every day.
Ms. Hattie Smith, 101, a long-time Ossining resident had been a missionary for her church, The Star of Bethlehem, and traveled at length to fulfill this role. Bessie Mae Royals, 102, worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for 20 years, and upon retirement, took care of her six grandchildren.
Rose Schechter, 100, born in Brooklyn, was one of nine children and the only one born in the United States as her siblings were born in England and Holland. In addition to being married for 50 years and raising three children, she was an artist.
Also being celebrated were Carmela Giordano, 101, and Elvira Bialt, 100, rounding out an amazing group of ladies who each have a story to tell of a life well lived.
Bethel Homes & Services salutes these centenarians and is pleased to be yet another chapter in their lives.