Lada pg 5 10-15-20


Celebrates 100 Years
Johanna Lada holds up her state Centenarian certificate at the celebration at Westview Health Care Center.

DAYVILLE — Oct. 3 Johanna Lada celebrated her 100th birthday at Westview Health Care Center, and the occasion was marked with as much revelry as possible.  Well-earned praise came to her the week, culminating with the presentation of the official State of Connecticut Centenarian Citation.
Her life experience is a classic American tale.  Johanna’s father came from a Russian-occupied part of Poland and her mother came from a German-occupied part of Poland.  The whole family emigrated from Europe and came to the U.S. in her childhood. She, her parents, five sisters and brother lived in tenement housing (today known as Three Rows) in N. Grosvenordale.
As a youth, her educational years were spent at St. Joseph’s School and Tourtellotte Memorial High School. During The Great Depression Johanna recalls that her family held closely together and always reminded themselves that they had all that they ever needed.  At the age of 18 Johanna joined the Women’s Army Corps and was stationed in Jackson, Miss.  There she performed clerical work at a garage that repaired heavy-duty Army trucks, logging the details of the maintenance performed.
At the end of the war she received her honorary discharge, and along with her sister Bernice and her spouse, headed to New York City for the big celebration.  Yes, that celebration in that famous photograph.  Johanna was there.  “It was so crowded!” Settling in to civilian life, Johanna moved to Providence.  She took a course and shorthand and worked at Sealol in Warwick, R.I.—as well as working for IBM Equipment.
As a lifelong reader, Johanna was delighted to see the Centenarian Citation and read its details — literally and figuratively lit up her face.  The Connecticut General Assembly Citation was presented by State Senator Mae Flexer. Flexer remarked to Johanna she regretted not being able to stay and have a longer chat about her life story, perhaps sharing a cup of tea.  “I’ll make sure to return for your 101st birthday next year!” Flexer said and Johanna replied:  “Well…I expect to be here!”
The themes of family and good humor reign supreme throughout Johanna’s life, and this was exemplified when she was asked about “her secret” for reaching 100 birthdays, replying:  “I don’t know it’s my secret!”


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