WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – With a big birthday cake in front of her and her daughter by her side, Ida Zipkis celebrated her 104th birthday Wednesday at the Bristal Assisted Living Community in Westbury, Long Island.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story
“I have no secret. God has given me years,” she said.
She says she always walked for exercise, but she also admitted to having a sweet tooth.
“I like a lot of ice cream,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall.
“Chocolate. She’s a chocoholic,” her daughter Roberta interjected.
“It’s amazing. It’s just amazing. She’s amazing. She’s a wonderful lady,” Roberta said of the milestone. “She’s very giving. She’s very thoughtful. She doesn’t want to fight with people. She’ll just go along and do whatever it is to make everybody else happy.”
The Bristal Community released the following extensive biography of Zipkis.
Mrs. Zipkis has lived through the depression, has seen women win the right to vote, witnessed the triumphs of the civil rights movement and endured two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the horror of 9/11. She watched Long Island grow into the community that helped shape and define suburban America.
The early years in Brooklyn:
Ida Zipkis was born in Brooklyn On November 28, 1908 to a poor immigrant family from Poland. She dropped out of High School when she was just 16, and took a job as a bookkeeper to help her parents support her and her four siblings. She met her husband William at work, their first date was at the 1939 World’s Fair. They married in 1939, and their 52 year marriage thrived until his passing in 1991 at the age of 81.
The Long Island Years:
William and Ida had two children. Linda was born in in 1942 and Roberta in 1945. The family moved to Mineola in 1953. William bought an Army Navy store and the family moved into an apartment above the store. William served as President of the Beth Shalom Synagogue, in Mineola and Ida served as the President of the Sisterhood.
The Winter Storm Ida will NEVER Forget:
Ida learned how to drive at the age of 47, and this allowed the family top move to Carle Place in 1956.The family business was open seven days a week which meant that Ida and William could not vacation together. They would each travel to Florida for separate vacations each winter. In 1959, while William was in Florida, Long Island was hit with a major blizzard. Ida kept the store open for 48 hours, but finally decided she needed to get home to Carle Place. She did not want to drive through the storm so she hitched a ride on a county garbage truck.
Retirement, Florida and a return to Long Island:
In 1967, William and Ida sold the store and retired. They moved to Tamarack, Florida in 1974. William passed away in 1991. Ida was able to live on her own until she was 101, doing her own cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping. However the family convinced her to move back to Long Island, and she moved into the Bristal in August of 2012.