‘Dignified’ Shelton resident celebrates century mark

Elsie Marsha Booth celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday, April 8, with friends and family at Crosby Commons in Shelton, where she calls home.

Booth was born April 8, 1919, the same year as such luminaries as Eva Gabor, Liberace, Jackie Robinson and Nat King Cole.

Kelly Coppola of Crosby Commons, who said she has the pleasure of being close to the birthday girl, describes Booth as “classic, dignified and refined” and “I can only hope when I turn 100, I share some of those same traits.”

“Happy 100th birthday Elsie,” said Coppola. “May you enjoy many more days of health, happiness and inner peace. I am blessed to be able to call you my special friend.”

Booth grew up in Bridgeport, attending St. Charles Elementary School, Hall Middle School and Warren Harding High School, where she graduated in 1935. She then attended Booth and Bayliss Secretarial School and began a career in advertising.

Booth was married twice, the first to Bernard Rock, with whom she had two children, William and Bonnie. While that marriage ended, Coppola said this sparked chapter two in Booth’s life, with her marriage to high school sweetheart Harrison Doyle.

Booth would also switch career paths, becoming assistant to the special education director in the Paramus, N.J., school system. She volunteered at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., and, back in Connecticut, at Bridgeport Hospital. Coppola noted how Booth loves animals, specifically Boston Terriers, and through the years had 15 Boston Terriers. She also enjoys watching football — cheering on the New England Patriots — and basketball.

During the 30 years Booth and Doyle were together, the couple purchased a home in Shelton and “enjoyed a wonderful life together,” said Coppola. The couple eventually sold the Shelton house and moved into Crosby Commons. The pair “enjoyed their time here,” said Coppola, but Harrison died a couple years ago and remains “sorely missed” at Crosby Commons.

“Elsie is a pleasure to speak with, often sharing stories of her amazing travels and our common love of Boston Terriers,” said Coppola. “I enjoy the time I get to spend with her, and I always find a smile when our eyes meet.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com