Another Milford Manor resident celebrates 100th birthday

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:48

West Milford — There is a special group of residents at Milford Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - three centenarians - ranging from 100 to 106. As of this July, Alice Havlena celebrated her 100th birthday and is a part of this elite group. These residents have stories rich in history and have seen so much over the span of their century long lives, and Alice is no exception. Alice, who has been at Milford Manor since 2005, likes to keep herself busy, loves arts and crafts, crossword puzzles and is the “Queen of the Price is Right.” She looks forward to her son’s visits and you often see them chatting over lunch. Her smile is infectious, and she enjoys going outside for an occasional “walk.” Alice was born July 9, 1911, in Manhattan. Her family moved a few years later to Astoria, Queens. Alice and her roller-skating friends found themselves in the center of what was then the nation’s movie capital, before Hollywood claimed that fame. It was common to see stars of the day in the neighborhood, and she remembers seeing Gloria Swanson, Adolf Menjou, and watching the funeral of Rudolph Valentino in 1926. Alice worked many years as a legal secretary at the top of the Woolworth Building in Manhattan and remembers watching the floor-by-floor building of the World Trade Center from her office window. She married William Havlena in 1935, moved to Sunnyside Queens, and had two sons, Robert and William. She was a “modern” woman for that time, involving herself in the Cub Scouts, the Women’s Guild of the Reformed Church, local planning boards, and later with the senior centers in her community. She is a founding member of the Sunnyside Home Services, which brings meals to homebound residents. Alice’s husband became ill and in 2002 she and her son Robert brought him to Milford Manor, where he passed away in 2005. When Alice could no longer live alone, she also came to Milford Manor in 2005. Since then she has continued to keep herself busy with her family and her favorite activities, and maybe a nap or two. As Milford Manor’s group of 100 years plus residents continues to grow, so does the staff’s respect and amazement for all they bring to the group, as well as their resilience. For those who have had the privilege of getting to know more about who they are and all they have seen and done, the experience has been delightful and inspiring.