Mildred Leone, 105, lives the song she loves

By on March 9, 2016

What do you say to a centenarian who counts “I Will Survive” among her favorite songs?

“Happy Birthday” will do just fine.

Mildred Leone welcomed many a heartfelt “Happy Birthday” as she celebrated her 105th on Monday with her friends, family, and the staff at the Eden East Adult Day Services, Lititz.

Leone of Denver, was born March 7, 1911 at 513 E. 13th St. in New York City.

She celebrated her day with a great cake and lots of frivolity at the center where she enjoys spending four days a week and has been a fixture since July 2006.

Staffers say Mildred, who resides with her daughter Carol Condon, is a lively lady and a popular attendee.

Mildred’s long and interesting life gives testimony to that popularity.

At the tender age of 20, she married Louis Leone. The couple went on to have six children, the oldest of whom is now 88 years old. Five of the six are living, one having passed in infancy. There are 10 grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.

Louis died at the age of 51.

To support herself and her children, Mildred worked in factories and cleaning offices in the Flatiron Building in New York until she retired in 1976.

Photo by Preston Whitcraft Joining birthday girl Mildred Leone for her special day are (from left) Faith Hoover, director of Adult Day Services at Landis Homes, Lititz, and Carol Condon of Denver, Leone’s daughter with whom she resides.

Photo by Preston Whitcraft
Joining birthday girl Mildred Leone for her special day are (from left) Faith Hoover, director of Adult Day Services at Landis Homes, Lititz, and Carol Condon of Denver, Leone’s daughter with whom she resides.

Throughout her life, she has loved music and dancing.

“One of her favorite songs is ‘I Will Survive’,” said Condon. “She would grab anyone and dance at weddings. When I had parties at home she was right there dancing. She always welcomed my friends – our door was always open.”

Mildred’s zest for life also includes romance. After her husband’s death and later in life, she had four partners. Condon said they were men she met at a center she attended when she lived in New York City.

The birthday girl takes special interest in history, having survived the Great Depression, two World Wars II, and a host of happier events over the past century-plus.

She has a real interest in presidencies and presidential elections.

President William Howard Taft occupied the White House when she was born. She has lived through 18 administrations and looks forward to seeing who will be elected the next president.

In addition to music and dance, Mildred is a devotee of word search puzzles.

“We love having her here,” said Faith Hoover, director of Adult Day Services at Landis Homes. “She is one special lady.”

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