Century Club: No stopping energetic centenarians

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Evelyn Kozak says that if she ever wrote a book about her life, its title would be "Life Was Good Until I Turned 100." Considering that she turned 107 yesterday, that book must have a few more chapters left to write.


Evelyn Kozak
Click photo for larger image.

She was born on Aug. 14, 1899, to Katie and Isaac Jacobsen. From her father, she says, she learned the morals, strengths and values that she has passed on to her three living children -- Paula in California, Joel in Arizona and Ruth in Pittsburgh -- 10 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren in the United States and Israel.

Told once that she was "very honest," she says: "Honesty doesn't come in degrees. You are either honest or not."

As an adult, she moved to New Jersey, where her five children were born. She later moved to Miami, Fla., then came to Pittsburgh when she was in her 90s. She lived independently in an apartment until age 105 and walked 5 miles a day until a few years ago. She continues to walk and exercise each day, avoids high-fat foods and eats desserts only occasionally.

An avid reader, she enjoyed The New York Times crossword puzzle and playing Scrabble until her eyesight declined. She celebrated her birthday at Charles Morris Nursing and Rehabilitation in Squirrel Hill.

Going and going ... past 100

At Woodhaven Care Center, they call Mary Carrao the "Energizer bunny" because she's always willing to help out the staff and push others in their wheelchairs. As she turns 100 tomorrow, she keeps going and going ...

She was born a twin, one of Joseph and Rubina Sassano's 14 children in Homewood. As a young woman, she saw a litter of kittens born in her new Easter bonnet. She always enjoyed live music and has photos of herself with Frankie Laine and Dick Powell. She married Eugene Corrao and worked for Nabisco for 40 years, living in Homewood, East Liberty and later, Wilkinsburg.

Mrs. Corrao still loves to sing and dance. At family functions and social events at Woodhaven, she is often called upon to sing "Aggravatin' Poppa" and "Some of These Days."

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: kkirkland@post-gazette.com.


Mary Corrao
Click photo for larger image.

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 sectino will feature short stories on people marking their 100th year.


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