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Peekskill Woman Celebrates 103rd Birthday

Rose Zieff at her 103rd birthday party. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Susan Solow
Rose Zieff with her daughter, granddaughter and great grandchildren. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Rose Zieff is as old as an Oreo.

Zieff, who was born in 1912, the same year Oreos were invented, celebrated her 103rd birthday on July 30. Zieff, who lives at Drum Hill in Peekskill, previously lived in Jefferson Village in Yorktown.

Zieff's birthday was marked with a proclamation from Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina and a letter from President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

"It feels very good," Zieff said.

Growing up in Bay Ridge, Zieff was taught by her parents to always make a good impression. She has fond memories of going to her local theater growing up.

"Bay Ridge was like a small town," Zieff said. "Most of the people were solid citizens."

Zieff's family said she was quite the athlete, playing tennis, line dancing and going swimming. They also enjoyed going to Brighton Beach and Zieff is known as a skilled bridge and canasta player.

In Jefferson Village, Zieff was an active volunteer at Hudson Valley Hospital, Hadassah and the Board of Elections.

"I did what I felt was good for me," Zieff said. "I knew what I wanted to do so I did it. I did things that other people wouldn't even try."

Making a good impression was very important to Zieff, who said she was brought up well by her parents. Zieff married her husband, Lou, in 1936 and has children, granddchildren and great grandchildren. Lou died in 1984.

"We are a very close family," Zieff said.

Her old age hasn't slowed her down. Zieff plays Wii Bowling with her great grandchildren and still smokes, eats chocolate and plays the Jumble.

Her daughter, Susan Solow, said she never expected her mother to live this long.

"She was a very good wife to my father," Solow, who talks to her mother twice a day, said. "She's lived a very full life. She always wants to know when we're coming to see her."

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