Happy 100th Birthday, Irene!
By Harry Glazer
At Parker we have the distinct privilege of celebrating major milestones with Elders – like 100 years-old-birthdays. And we’ve learned that each person’s milestone, like their life’s circumstances, is a story all on its own.
In this photo Irene Olivi, a resident of the Evergreen Way neighborhood of Parker’s senior residence in Piscataway, prepares to blow out the candle on her 100 years birthday cake, with the assistance of her great-granddaughter, Eden, on September 30th.
Irene was the youngest of four siblings in the Sinibaldi family, which immigrated to the United States from Italy in the 1920’s and lived in Union City, NJ. She was extremely close to her family, including a brother who was a bicyclist in the Olympics in the 1930s and a sister Blanche who took trips to Atlantic City with her.
Irene worked briefly in an embroidery factory in her youth and married Guy Olivi, a US Air Force supply sergeant who served in England in World War II and later in Texas. She devoted herself full-time as a homemaker and took great pride in her role as a mother of two children and as a creative and resourceful cook for her family. When grandchildren arrived, she delighted in being a doting Nonnie (grandmother, in Italian) to them all.
Irene has outlived her husband and, sadly, her two children. Her daughter-in-law Margaret oversees her care and often visits with her. Irene’s unfortunate losses, though, have not eclipsed her taste for life’s simple joys – the pleasure of singing along with a familiar song, the delight in visits from her grandchildren and great- grandchildren, and the decency of graciousness to her caregivers.
Parker is pleased to celebrate Irene’s 100th birthday with her and very honored to play a role in this proud and sweet woman’s life.