NEWARK — Anna Tricarico lived through it all: From wars and Prohibition to Elvis, the Beatles and moon landings.
Yes, a lot has happened since her birth in 1914, and Tuesday, another significant thing takes place: Her 105th birthday.
Hitting the century mark is not quite as uncommon these days as it used to be, given improved diets, medicine and other factors. But not many make it to 105.
Anna will do just that at The Terrace at Newark, where she has lived since moving out of her Lyons home over three years ago. She suffers from some memory loss and resides in the memory-care unit but is clearly one of the assisted living facility’s most beloved residents.
“She’s the queen of the Terrace,” said Chris Vitale, who directs the facility that is owned by his family. They also have sites in Auburn and Camillus.
Indeed, said Terrace Activities Director Gigi Parcero, Anna will be treated like royalty Tuesday during a birthday party in her honor.
“She’s getting a crown,” said Parcero, adding that there will be lots of pink as part of the celebration. It’s her favorite color. “She’s loved here at The Terrace.”
Friendly, sociable, welcoming — these are the descriptions Vitale and Parcero mentioned in describing the centenarian, who worked at the Wayne County Department of Social Services well before it was called that.
Son Tim Scott said Anna took the job in the early 1930s in the county’s nascent welfare office, started under the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s. She made $3 a day.
Anna, who retired in 1973, moved up the ranks over the years and handled a majority of the accounting functions in the department, gaining the respect of those who examined the department’s books, said Scott, who lives in northern California.
A state examiner, he said, “would marvel at her skills and abilities” when it came to numbers.
He noted that she’s been retired six more years than she worked, a highly unusual occurrence.
Anna grew up in a family of seven in Lyons, said Scott, who, in trying to explain longevity, noted that her sisters all lived into their 90s.
“She never smoked, and alcohol was like poison to her,” he said. “She was also very active.”
What she’s known for at The Terrace is what she has always been, said Scott.
“She’s very social and very outgoing, always talking to everybody,” he said. “She would help everybody, literally to a fault.”
A deeply religious person, Anna taught Sunday school for generations at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Lyons and said it’s part of her faith.
“I am always talking to everybody,” she said. “I don’t ignore anyone. God didn’t just create certain people. He created all the people.”
Stepdaughter Mary Ann VanHanehan said Tricarico married her father, John Tricarico, a widower, on June 24, 1966, and that she took in his family as though it was her own.
“She’s our second mom,” said VanHanehan. “I have four older brothers, and she was mother to all of us.”
She called Anna a “lovely person” who could whip up some great Italian food.
“Every day she’s here is a blessing,” said Parcero, who noted that Anna takes part in all The Terrace’s activities.
“I don’t want to miss a thing,” she said.
“She’s got a very positive attitude,” added Vitale.
“She said to me, ‘I’m going for 106,’” Parcero said.