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At 105, just beginning to slow down
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At 105, just beginning to slow down

Edith Rose, celebrating a century plus five 
Edith Rose, celebrating a century plus five 

Greetings have already arrived from President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama, and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Dist. 37) will offer a resolution in her honor in the Legislature. 

As Edith Rose of Winchester Gardens in Maplewood turns 105 on Dec. 10, she doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. Great-grandmother of 11 and grandmother of four, she is only just beginning to slow down. 

“Sometimes her aches and pains limit her these days,” acknowledged her niece, Carol Hodes. “She finds planned events stressful because she has days when she doesn’t feel well and never knows if she will be up to going out or having company, and she doesn’t want to disappoint anyone.” So there will be no birthday celebration. But Rose is in no way confined. On a recent good day, she met friends for lunch at nearby Verjus restaurant.

Rose grew up in Newark; her parents, Fanny and Hyman, had emigrated from Latvia around 1900. 

She and her husband, Joe, later lived in Union, Maplewood, and Brick. They were members of what is now Congregation B’nai Ahavath Shalom in Union and then of Congregation Beth El in South Orange. After Joe died in 2002 at the age of 95, Rose came back to Maplewood.

In 1910, the year she was born, the Boy Scouts of America was formed, the Wright Brothers took their only flight together, and Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” premiered in Paris. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire would not happen for another three months, the first moving assembly line wouldn’t be introduced by Henry Ford for another three years, and Archduke Ferdinand wouldn’t be assassinated for another four years, precipitating World War I.

The downside of living through so much history is that Rose has outlived her seven siblings, her husband, and one of her three children, not to mention many friends. In an interview with NJJN on her 100th birthday, Rose said she had stopped reading the obituaries because she no longer knew anyone listed.

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