Woman celebrates symmetry of life at Northern Manor in Nanuet
BY JEFF JACOMOWITZ
For some, 101 is the new 81 and Marion Vago is no exception.
Ms. Vago celebrated her 101st birthday at a big celebration on September 13, 2016 at
Northern Manor in Nanuet. Marion, along with her granddaughter, Vanessa Sgroi, great grandson Cooper Sgroi and a standing room-only packed recreation room of residents and staff, there was no limit to the entertainment, food and all around laughter and smiles. It was too bad that Vanessa’s other son, Parker, couldn’t attend because some of us have to go to school. At the celebration, Northern Manor entertainer, Julian Hernandez did the singing and got the party hopping while the facility’s dietician Kate Cordona danced with Marion. That’s right, Marion was boogieing. So who is Marion Vago?
Marion was born in Brooklyn in 1915, the year that the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat killing 1,198, a turning point during World War I and grew up during the Great Depression. Until his death in 1988, Marion was married to Gene Vago, a World War II Veteran who served in France and was one of the servicemen who liberated the last concentration camp. Gene Vago was injured during the war and when he returned home, Marion quickly became the bread winner, working as a hair dresser in her basement.
“My grandmother was born a survivor,” explains Vanessa. “She actually also raised her siblings and she actually raised four generations of our family.”
Marion’s daughter (Vanessa’s mother) passed away at a very early age so Marion raised Vanessa through her life. More recently, Marion was driving until the age of 93 and lived on her own until she was 99. In 2015 when Marion, the year she hit the triple digits for the first time, Vanessa gave Marion a new present, the birth of Cooper. Cooper being born last year created a special century bond Cooper and Marion share. Regularly, Parker, Cooper and Vanessa visit Marion and all of the staff, residents and family members have grown to know and love spending time with Cooper and Parker on those visits. Even at the age of 101, Marion asks Parker how he’s doing in school. Perhaps 101 is really the new 61.
All photos: Courtesy of Patty Martin, Northern Manor