Residents and staff recently gathered at St. Vincent’s Nursing Home to celebrate a great milestone of five of their own. Walter Solberg, Teodosia Brykowycz, Josephine Smithonic, Teresa Finamore and Anne Campora are all officially members of the “100 and Over Club.” Each with a life full of exciting and memorable times continues to thrive through the loving care they receive at St. Vincent’s. The celebration included plenty of cake, singing and laughter.
Walter Solberg was born April 5, 1914 in Bayonne, New Jersey, and had one sister. As a young man he married and had 2 children. Mr. Solberg worked as a supervisor for many years and also drove the transit bus to and from New York City. He traveled often, enjoys history and spending his time at St. Vincent’s reading the newspaper and talking with fellow residents. He especially loves telling stories about “back in the day.”
A native of the Ukraine, Teodosia “Tess” Brykowycz was born February 7, 1914 during World War I, as the youngest of 3. Tess, as she is lovingly called, never married nor had any children; she dedicated her years in the Ukraine to teaching and education. Towards the end of World War II, she and her family were transferred to a displaced persons camp. From there they immigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Tess took a job at a local hospital washing floors while attending night school to learn English. She later worked at a medical insurance company for more than 20 years, before moving to New Jersey.
Josephine Smithonic, a native of Dupont, Pennsylvania, was born March 12, 1915, as 1 of 11 children. She married and had one son, who along with her husband has passed. She worked as a factory worker for many years and spent much of her time sewing. Currently, Ms. Smithonic enjoys watching television, talking with friends and staff, and regular visits from her niece.
Teresa “Terri” Finamore was born November 14, 1914. She and her brother Thomas lost their mother in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. Her father remarried in 1920 and had two more sons. After graduating elementary school Ms. Finamore had to go directly to work in the Dye House Mills in Paterson due to the hard economic times. She later married a young man from her neighborhood in Paterson and had two sons. She and her husband eventually opened a diner in Haledon which they ran for many years. Additionally, Terri owned/operated Francine Fashions in Totowa, worked for Kearfott in Paterson and later served as a nanny to many families and children in the Wayne area.
Anne Campora was born on October 30, 1914 in New York City, 1 of 2 children. She married, had 2 sons and worked as a secretary for some time. Ms. Campora enjoys playing bingo with friends.
February 8, 2016