LACONIA — "It wasn't chance," said Ida Schwartz, who celebrated her 100th birthday this week at the Taylor Community. "I was lucky."
Schwartz was born in New York on October 22, 2015, one of two children of Sam and Sarah Dolitsky. the family moved to Holyoke, Mass. where her father owned and operated Dolitsky's Department Store. At the age of nine Schwartz began working in the store, first behind the counter as a saleswoman and ultimately as the buyer, who traveled to New York chose the clothes that filled the hangers and stocked the shelves.
At 23 Schwartz went out on her very first date with Albert Schwartz of Springfield, Mass. and was surprised when he asked her to marry him. The couple raised a son and daughter, Steve and Ricki, and her family has grown to include four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Earning a prosperous $40 a week, Albert Schwartz did not want his wife to work. She gave up her job at the department store and turned her energies to helping others. During World War II she visited with, read to and wrote to hospitalized soldiers as they recovered from their wounds. She tested young children for amblyopia, a major cause of loss of vision. She raised money for charities, visited nursing homes and managed a job training program.
The Schwartzes enjoyed traveling both at home and abroad and she takes pride as the only woman in her family to be pinched on the Spanish Steps in Rome as well as to stroke a hole-in-one.
Mayor Ed Engler offered Schwartz the congratulations of the city, proclaiming the day in her honor. Governor Maggie Hassan sent her best wishes. And Bob Selig, the chief executive officer of the Taylor Community, read a message from President Obama and his wife Michelle.
"This is a wonderful, wonderful thing," Schwartz said
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