NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – She’s celebrating more than a century of life.
Louise Signore turns 107 Wednesday. They threw her a party was at the JASA Bartow Senior Center in Coop City.
Louise was born in 1912, a year filled with change and innovation. President William Howard Taft was in office and Woodrow Wilson won the November election. Two more states joined the union: New Mexico and Arizona. The Titanic hit an iceberg and sunk in the Atlantic ocean. In Boston, Fenway Park opened with an exhibition game between the Red Sox and Harvard College, and motorized movie cameras revolutionized Hollywood.
Louise was born in Manhattan that year. She’s lived in the Bronx since she was 14.
More than 100 people packed the party to celebrate Louise. It’s a party fit for Coop City’s favorite celebrity. But at 107 years old, this lovely lady, pretty in pink, will be the first to ask: Why all the fuss?
“I said I’ve had enough parties,” Louise said.
Her matter-of-fact humor brings endless joy to friends, some of whom are decades younger than Louise.
“She’s got no walking cane, no wheelchair. She does all her shopping. She’s awesome,” her friend Deborah Whitaker told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
“I think that her connection with her neighbors in the community and also her friends here at the senior center help to keep her going,” said Aisha Parillon, JASA’s senior director of senior services.
Born in Harlem in 1912 and always proud of her Italian heritage, Louise moved to the Bronx as a young girl, happily calling the borough home ever since. In her golden years, she’s danced almost daily, and can play bocce with the best of them. She still lives alone, and reveals that’s been a key to less stress.
“I think the secret of 107: I never got married. I think that’s the secret. My sister says ‘I wish I never got married,'” Louise said.
Her longevity is more than luck: It runs in the family. Her sister who unfortunately couldn’t attend the party is 102.
“If they have exercise, I do the exercise. If they have dancing, I dance. I still a do a little dancing. After my lunch, I will play bingo, so I had a full day,” Louise said.
God bless this amazing woman who is 107 years old today! Big party with her friends and family in the Bronx. Lots of keys to living so long — including eating Italian food, dancing, and she emphasized never getting married 😂💕 pic.twitter.com/YJUD9iD5s2
— Jessica Layton (@JLaytonTV) July 31, 2019
“She doesn’t take any medicine! I’m 107 and I just take a high blood pressure pill, that’s all,” Louise said.
Aging with grace hasn’t been without challenges. She’s legally blind, recently overcame pneumonia, and at 103 survived an assault and robbery in her apartment building. Her strength is inspiring, Layton reported.
Layton wanted to know what else Louise could share for those of us hoping to live a long, happy life and look even half as good.
“Italian food. Italian food is very good for you,” Louise said. “I was brought up with very good food. No soda, no cake.”
But just for today, to celebrate still being young at heart, there will be cake.