Another centenarian celebration at Wesley Village
Three residents of Wesley Village celebrated their 100th birthdays in the company of friends, family members, and staff members last month.
Birthday festivities for the centenarians were organized by Wesley Heights Activities Director Linda Fera, who plans a special celebration each time a resident turns 100. The most recent celebration honored residents Anna Curry, Bill Jakupkovic and Milton Kundert.
“Over the years, we’ve had many residents living to 100 or beyond,” said Fera. “We often joke that it’s all the good living at Wesley, but all joking aside, we are witnesses to the many ways community living benefits older adults on a daily basis. Our next celebration will honor a new resident turning 101 at the end of March.”
Fera makes time to help collect life stories for many residents.
“It always surprises me each time a new nugget of information is shared,” said Fera. “Centenarians, in particular, have a lot of history to share, and their collections and perspectives are both interesting and enlightening.”
Wesley Heights Executive Director Ben Schiano agrees with Fera.
“Celebrating 100th birthday milestones with our residents is one of the best parts of my job ... I love it,” said Schiano. “These celebrations inspire the entire community to embrace a more positive outlook on aging.”
Curry was born in Shelton in 1919 as one of seven children and went on to raise three children and now enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchild. She lived in Stratford for many years and worked at the Warnaco Company. She was an avid gardener.
After retirement, Curry volunteered at Bridgeport Hospital and Rehab Center offering gardening therapy for stroke patients. She also enjoyed singing in the church choir at Our Lady of Grace (Stratford), knitting and crocheting, and was an excellent seamstress.
Jakupkovic, a World War II Army Air Force veteran, was a Bridgeport resident before moving to Shelton. He worked in a machine shop for most of his life, but always made time to nurture one of his favorite hobbies, golf. Jakupkovic, along with his brother, worked as caddies at Beardsley Golf Club and went on to play golf his whole life. He also enjoyed traveling, spending time with his wife and daughter, and continues to enjoy watching UConn women’s basketball and cheering on the New England Patriots.
Kundert worked for 34 years as a mailman. He took on extra work on the night shift at the Ritz Ballroom as a ticket taker and had the opportunity to enjoy all the big bands that visited the ballroom during its heyday. Additionally, Kundert worked some evening shift pumping gas. He always worked hard to support his family. He is religious person but doesn’t credit this or his work ethic for his longevity. He states that life “just went along,” and he has been “blessed with good health.”
The Wesley Village Senior Living campus is located at 580 Long Hill Avenue in Shelton and is part of United Methodist Homes, a local not-for-profit organization. The Wesley Village campus offers assisted and independent living, memory support, skilled nursing, short-term rehab, and outpatient therapy and fitness services. To learn more, visit www.umh.org/wesley-village.