Warwick, RI – Lillian Zanfagna celebrated her 100th birthday Monday joking with Congressman Jim Langevin, listening to letters from Mayor Scott Avedisian and President Barack Obama, and enjoying cake from Antonio’s bakery.
Shortly after reading the letter from Barack and Michelle Obama Monday morning at the Pilgrim Senior Center, Langevin noted the saying about only the good dying young. “So you must have some stories to tell,” the Congressman joked.
Lillian, a regular at the center for the last 20 years, played along with the joke as the room enjoyed a good laugh. “I must be bad,” the centenarian quipped.
The 44-year Warwick resident arrived at the surprise party a little earlier than usual, with a little help from her family, daughter and son-in-law Lillian and Robert Romano and Lillian’s son, John Zanfagna.
The Pilgrim Senior Center is a regular stop on Lillian’s daily schedule, her daughter said, where she enjoys bingo and her friends. Many of the latter, about 20 people altogether, were waiting with her family in the center’s meeting room, with a cake and gifts for the guest of honor.
“And she loves, loves her friends at the center here,” her daughter said. The 100-year-old is very active, she said, and sharp.
“She has everything going for her,” her daughter said.
Recently, her daughter said, they got Lillian a dog, a pug named Zoe, whom she sits on the couch with.
“That’s her best friend,” her daughter said.
“She sits on my lap and I pet her,” Lillian said.
Lillian’s advice for younger people is to focus on a positive attitude, and, if you’re planning on spending time with her, honesty is the best policy.
“I don’t like a liar,” she said.
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