Carmen celebrates her 106th birthday
Council Bluffs Retirement Communities
Primrose Retirement Community celebrated a very special birthday with resident Carmen, who turned 106 years old on February 17th.
“I had a good life, had a wonderful father,” she said. Carmen, the baby in her family, has outlived her siblings but has a nephew and a niece who lives in Council Bluffs with their families who visit Primrose often.
Carmen was born in Italy but moved to Council Bluffs with her family as a young girl and doesn’t remember her native land. She grew up on a farm until she was about 7, when a tornado devastated the place. “It took everything,” she said. “It took our home.” They moved to a farm in Nebraska but later moved back to Council Bluffs so her father could work for the railroad. Carmen had three brothers and a sister. “We children were together a lot,” she said. “I was the ornery one.” Her mother taught her to help others, she said. “My mother, she loved to cook and send to the neighbors, and there wasn’t a day when she didn’t do that,” she said. “My mom was a very good cooker.” Her mother had her sew clothes for others in need, Carmen said. “It was always for somebody else,” she said.
As an adult, Carmen worked as an operator for the telephone company, a job she enjoyed. “It was always nice working there,” she said.
Carmen got started making cloth dolls somewhere along the line and continued to sew them for more than 50 years. Many were sold to raise money for Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs.
Carmen and her husband, Marvin, who did not raise any children, moved to Mountain Home, Ark., in 1971. In 1980, Mercy staff contacted her and asked if she would make a special doll with room for internal organs, which the hospital staff installed. They used the doll to show children preparing for surgery what would be removed and where it was in the body. She also crocheted and made rugs. She picked up the hobby of painting pictures in the mid-1970s. She stopped when her husband died in 1988. “He was a wonderful, wonderful husband,” she said.
Carmen has lived at Primrose for the last two years. She participates in almost every activity and just enjoys life every day!
To find out more about enjoying life at Primrose, contact your nearest Primrose Retirement Community today to see more of our fun and social living. We’ll happily answer all your questions and show you around our beautiful communities. Come see why we say, THIS IS LIVING!