100th birthday no time to slow down for Pittsburgh woman
Anne Likarevich is about to mark her 100th birthday, and chances are that she's busier than you this week.
She was in Pittsburgh City Council chambers on Tuesday to be recognized as the momentous occasion draws near. On Friday, her birthday, the Brighton Heights Senior Community Center will hold a lunch in honor of the new centenarian. Friends and family will convene on Saturday at Monte Cello's restaurant in Ross for further birthday festivities.
“I don't know if I can take it,” she said with a slight smile as she sat in the living room of her Observatory Hill home with her two daughters, Lillian Clark and Eleanor Groeneman, shortly after the city hall appearance. “It's too much, too much.”
Don't believe it. She seems quite capable of handling the activity.
Most people who are fortunate enough to make it to Likarevich's age have long ago stopped firing on all cylinders. Likarevich remains a spark plug with attentive eyes, a sturdy voice and no definitive answer when posed the obligatory question of how she has lasted this long.
“I really don't know,” she said. “In my 80s, I thought that I'd never make it this far. I just try to keep seeing friends, try to stay busy.”
Likarevich, who still volunteers most Thursdays in the Brighton Heights Senior Center kitchen, has had no difficulty staying busy for decades. In April, she was honored by Pittsburgh Citiparks for logging more than 40,000 hours of community service during the past four decades.
Born in Bjlovar, Croatia, she and her family emigrated to the United States when she was 7. She has lived in the same neighborhood since 1931, the same year she graduated from Duff's Business School, and has spent more than 50 years in the same house.
In the mid-1970s, she and five neighborhood friends started scouting for a place they could play cards and socialize. They first found dilapidated space in a former Lutheran church being used by the Perry Athletic Club, eventually working with the city to create the Perry North (later rechristened Observatory Hill) senior community center.
For the past decade, her volunteer efforts have focused on the Brighton Heights center, whose praises she undoubtedly would sing even if she weren't being feted there on Friday.
“You can't get bored there,” she said. “There's always something to look forward to, and it's good to be around people your own age — well, almost your own age.”
When I accurately informed Likarevich that she looks great, she offered a good-natured, self-deprecating retort: “When I hear things like that, I tell people you can't judge a book by its cover.”
Then she smiled again.
Likarevich admits her pace slowed in recent years. But as long as her health holds, she's determined to keep active as her second century dawns.
“If I stay home for more than two straight days,” she said, “I'm ready to climb the walls.”
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Elsie Hillman, philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse, dies at 89
- Steelers defensive end Tuitt shifts into high gear
- Pittsburgh officials unveil major changes to police response to violent crime
- Uniontown man sentenced to 30 months for threatening Obama and his family
- Groups appeal Shell air permit for Beaver County project
- Delphi buys CMU spinoff that makes self-driving car software
- Man accused in crash that killed Export driver rejects plea offer
- Baldwin Borough man pleads guilty in white supremacist bombs case
- Rossi: Pirates foolish to bet on Burnett return
- Technology helps VA Pittsburgh expand ability to serve veterans
- Murrysville oncologist says he had necessary permits to hunt, kill lion