• North End centenarian celebrates 105th birthday

    By: Bob Ward

    Updated:

    BOSTON - In Boston's North End, residents are celebrating a very special woman's life. 

    In just a few hours from Sunday night, Vicenza Raspa will be turning one hundred and five years old, truly a once in a lifetime party!

    For Raspa, this is just like any other birthday, but for the rest of us it certainly is not.

    On Monday, Boston's North End Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center will be celebrating Vicenza's birthday in full force.

    Vicenza was born in her North End home just as William Howard Taft finished his term as 27th President of the United States.

    In her lifetime, Vicenza worked at a canning factory for 30 years and then other 20 as a salesperson at Macy's.

    Through it all, her family and her faith sustained her - Vicenza never missed a daily mass at the North End's Sacred Heart Church.

    "I said thank god for every day he gives me," Vicenza said.

    Not counting leap years, Vicenza has lived 38,000, three hundred and twenty-five days - which, by any measure, is an exceptional accomplishment.

    With that in mind, the mayor send her, along with all the cake and decorations, a citation which reads: "Your service and commitment to your community and family and the North End has enriched Boston."

    Vicenza is happy to share this special recognition for her long life with all of us, and for all of us she has a special birthday wish - one that's 105 years in the making.

    "That everybody is healthy and happy, that's the most important thing; you have your health, you have everything," said Vicenza.

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