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Harriett and Ralph Kaplan Estates Assisted Living recently honored members of its exclusive Century Club, paying tribute to five residents who have reached the remarkable milestone of turning 100. Members of the Kaplan Estates Century Club include Thelma Taylor (100), Marty Lawson (101), Kay Morrocco (101), Leon “Leo” Ditchek (101) and Rose Regis (107).

“These residents are warm, vibrant, candid and very aware of the world today,” stated Ellen Gordon, Director of Resident Life at Harriett and Ralph Kaplan Estates/Chelsea Jewish Lifecare. “It’s amazing the recall they have about historical events. In fact, I often feel like I’m reliving a piece of history after our conversations.”

Each of these seniors live independently in their own apartment and participate in the daily recreational and social activities on the campus. With three meals a day, the dining room is a hub of social interaction, as are the many games, events, lectures, movies, classes, and outings offered at the assisted living.

Ellen Gordon noted that these residents are a wonderful asset to the Peabody community. “We are so fortunate to have these inspiring individuals living on our campus,” said Gordon. “Truly, they are proof that the aging process can be full of grace, dignity, joy and humor.”

The group of five have definite opinions as to why they are living a long and independent life. Leo Ditchek maintained it’s all about clean living and healthy eating, yet he concedes that fate plays a part. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of luck,” said Leo. Thelma Taylor is quick to point out that while exercise is important, she was born with “good genes.” Marty Lawson credited his good health to a variety of interests that keep him young and mentally alert. He can often be found in the computer room scanning news, reading a book on his Kindle, or solving a crossword or Sudoku puzzle. Rose Regis believes raising her children on her own after her husband passed away at a young age account for her strength and determination. And last, but certainly not least, Kay Morrocco provided a unique perspective when asked the secret to her longevity. “That’s an easy one,” replied Kay with a smile. “I’m Italian!”