Oldest Pittsburgher has her day and then some

Century Club

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Evelyn Kozak won't be 110 years old until Friday. But she's already had two celebrations and a day -- Aug. 5 -- named for her. Just another day in the life of the oldest person in Pittsburgh.

She was born on Aug. 14, 1899, to Katie and Isaac Jacobson in New York. She attended grammar school in Brooklyn but is essentially self-taught. She worked for many years in an office.

She was married in 1921 and had five children. Two are deceased. The others are Paula of California, Ruth of Pittsburgh and Joel of Arizona. A voracious reader, she now enjoys being read to. Ms. Kozak is devoted to her family, Judaism and the state of Israel.

She has 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. For the past five years, she has lived at Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Squirrel Hill. A birthday celebration was held there on Aug. 4. Another was held yesterday, and her grandson performed at a piano recital.

City Council President Doug Shields proclaimed Aug. 5 as Evelyn Kozak Day in Pittsburgh.

"So much hoopla!" she said in a 2008 Pittsburgh Magazine article. "I am not entitled to all this kowtowing. Old age does not necessarily equate to wisdom."

If you or a friend or a relative recently turned 100 or will soon do so, the Post-Gazette would like to hear from you. On an occasional basis, the Magazine section will feature short stories on people marking their 100th year. To be included, send the honoree's biographical information and your phone number to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Century Club, Attn: Kevin Kirkland, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. Fax: 412-263-1313. E-mail: kkirland@post-gazette.com .


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