When Catherine "Kay" Benkovich's son was born, she nicknamed him "Slugger." Not because she wanted him to be a ballplayer -- his father swam and played football and basketball but not baseball. She just liked the sound of it.
"My neighbors were upset because he was so cute," she said, laughing.
Mrs. Benkovich turned 100 earlier this month, and her son, Vincent, was there, rooting for her, along with three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and nearly 60 others at Point Pleasant Retirement Community in North Versailles.
She was born on Oct. 6, 1913, in New Kensington, one of 11 children born to Francis and Michele (Scichitano) Grillo. The family moved to Braddock, and she graduated from Braddock High School. She got her first job when she was 15, at Murphy's 5 & 10 in Braddock. Later she worked at Family Finance Co.
In 1944, she married Vincent "Vince" Benkovich of Rankin, and they had one son, Vincent of North Versailles. Mr. Benkovich, who retired from U.S. Steel's Homestead Works, died in August 2008 after 67 years of marriage. Mrs. Benkovich lived in Braddock until about four years ago, when she moved to Point Pleasant.
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. To be included in Century Club, 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: 412-491-8452. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.