August 27, 2019

Florence & Chafetz Resident Marion Zolla Celebrates her 106th Birthday!

Amidst family, friends, and staff at the Florence & Chafetz Assisted Living on Admiral’s Hill in Chelsea, MA, Marion Yolanda Zolla celebrated her 106th birthday. It was a wonderful occasion.

Marion Yolanda Zolla was born on August 9, 1913 in Revere, MA. Amazingly, she lived in the same house on Prospect Avenue until she moved to Cohen Florence Levine Estates in 2003.  A picture of the large Victorian house, one of the oldest in Revere, hangs in her room today.

Her life was very much a family affair. Marion was the second oldest of eight children: four brothers and three sisters. For Marion, Revere has always been a magical place. She loved swimming in the ocean at Revere Beach, spending long days at the beach, whenever possible. Hobbies included learning Italian, sewing, and playing cards. Her brother James taught Marion to drive. She received her license on her birthday at a time when most women did not drive – a birthday present to herself, she said.  Her most treasured times were spent cooking delicious Italian meals on Sundays for her family, where she often served home-made ravioli, manicotti, meatballs, and sauce.  Of course, Marion went all out on holidays; she adored being with her family, cooking and catering to them.

Beloved by both residents and staff, Marion is an avid bingo player and an accomplished dancer. Joan Anderson, a skilled nurse at Florence & Chafetz Memory Care, has known her since she came to live at the assisted living unit. “Marion is a bright, kind, and happy woman. She has a dignified presence about her that is rare. To me, she is a true lady in every sense of the word.” Marion’s family is thankful she’s been resident of Chelsea Jewish Lifecare for so long. As her niece Toni Sicari puts it, ‘This has been her home for 16 years and she is really very happy here. The staff treats her just like family.’”

One of the highlights of the birthday party included the presentation of a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives honoring Marion’s milestone birthday. Marion was extremely touched, repeating over and over again, “What did I ever do to deserve all this attention?” Living a long, happy, and fruitful life certainly deserves a lot of attention.

Happy 106th birthday, Marion!