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Senior Center holds is 10th annual ‘Gay 90s’ celebration

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GROTON — It’s become a grand tradition for the Groton Council on Aging to throw a party for those Grotonites who will celebrate their 90th birthday during the year. And this year, there were 14 who were so honored (though only three actually came to the table) at a luncheon held at the Groton Senior Center last Wednesday. The Center was packed for the occasion with well-wishers and several who themselves had already passed the important milestone.

The three fêted guests were Kathleen McCann, Mary Ilsley and Gordon (Tiny) McWade. Each received official citations from the House of Representatives and the Senate, along with accolades from a hall packed with family, friends, with the requisite sprinkling of officials and politicians.

Tom Hartnett took his place as the master of ceremonies, and Brad Mehring played the piano. The cakes were decorated and donated by Donelan’s of Groton, and RiverCourt provided the croissants. The Friends of the Groton Elders donated the flowers honoring the featured guests and Girl Scout Troop 614 made the centerpieces. Members of the Groton Woman’s Club cooked and served the luncheon.

According to the official tally, there are 48 people over the age of 90 living in Groton today. This year, there were 15 who turned 90. The town’s oldest resident is Vena Henrickson, 104, who was born in 1903.

“These are the people who helped shape the Groton we know today,” said Martha Campbell, director of the Groton Council on Aging.

Those born in 1917:

Kathleen P. McCann, Beatrice E. Cooper, Loring T. Swaim, William T. Gale, Warren R. Palmer, Mary F. Ilsley, James J. McCormick, Alma O. Smigelski, Gordon McWade, Jennie F. Pietras, Carolyn M. Fowler, Sarita B. Choate, Dorothy E. Odell, Russell Hatch.

Born in 1916:

Rosalind Schultz, Bayard Underwood, Eleanora Keefe, Rita O’Connell, Angelo Buscemi, Irene Putman.

Born in 1915:

Marjorie Ernsdorff, Adelaide Luca, Eleanor Mariano, Helen Mehring, Louise Buzzell.

Born in 1914:

David Ilsley, Ida Naparstek, Ruth Coombs, Albert Gould, Mary Rita Joyce, Barbara Nathan, Eleanor Skinner, Theodore Sheafe, Henery Sullivan, Ruth Wilson.

Born in 1912:

Leo S. Wirth, Louis Santos.

Born in 1911:

Libby Corkery, Mildred Benjamin, Thelma Mollot, Helen Wilkinson.

Born in 1910:

Irma Rahnasto.

Born in 1909:

Helen Sawyer, Mary Walsh.

Born in 1907:

Rose Paduano.

Born in 1903:

Vena Henrickson.