Penicillin. A social security number. Band-aids. Highways. Minimum wage. The Great Depression. Movies with sound. Television. FM radio. Nylon. The NFL. The states of Alaska and Hawaii.
Beyond the obvious of the Internet or satellites or jet airliners, these are things that did not exist in August of 1918.
Also, the Great War (before they gave such things numbers) was three months away from ending, women could not vote, married women were issued joint passports with their husbands and were granted travel privileges as the “wife of” said husband, airmail just started, and Babe Ruth was still with the Boston Red Sox.
But on August 7th of the year 1918, Loretta Joan Crotty was born.
Now this is not to say she was responsible for all those advancements, but to be alive and witness the world change in exponential ways over a century is something to behold.
The Borough of Roselle Park presented Loretta Joan Iungerman – one of its long-time residents – with a proclamation celebrating her 100th birthday at the August 16th municipal meeting.
The proclamation was presented by her son-in-law, Mayor Carl Hokanson who praised his mother (within-the-law) and her history and accomplishments. The mayor also presented Loretta with proclamations from the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the State Legislators.
Having been born in Bayonne, Loretta graduated high school in 1936. Six years later she married Joseph Iungerman on November 28th in 1942. Nine years later in 1951 the couple moved into their first and only home on Magie Avenue in Roselle Park. They became parents to 10 children – Gregory, Joseph, Kevin, Loretta, Anita, Owen, Peggy, Stacie, Karen, and Brian; Anita Iungerman went onto marry Carl Hokanson in 1975. The family has grown to include 29 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
In between taking care of her family, Loretta took part in helping her community as an active member of St. Joseph’s Church, PTA, and Rosary Society in Roselle then later as a parishoner of the Assumption Church in Roselle Park. An avid Mah Jong player, Loretta started a group to play the game of tiles with her neighbors from Magie and Pershing Avenues. Although Loretta can no longer play, the Mah Jong group grew and continues at the Casano Community Center.
The list is long of examples of Loretta giving to her community which includes being a member of the senior citizens’ group in the borough, volunteering for the Sherman School reading programs, and the Casano Center Nutrition Program – to name a few. She also enjoyed attending exercise classes at the Casano Center, bus trips to Atlantic City and other places, and many of the events sponsored by or at the Casano Center. She was a regular attendee at the Senior Prom organized by the students at Roselle Park High School for the senior citizens of Roselle Park. When possible, Loretta still attends bingo at the Casano Center on Fridays.
But more importantly than these are the untold moments of grace that Loretta bestowed on those she knew and knows – the blessings of love from a woman who is a mother, wife, daughter, grandmother, great-grandmother, resident, neighbor, volunteer, and friend.
100 years. Every day is a new day.