Turning 100 on Jan. 8, Gwen Snitko said she felt 60.
"I didn't think about it at all," she said of her birthday, celebrated at her Brookfield home, the Lighthouse of Brookfield.
But she quickly became aware as family surrounded her, and Mayor Steve Ponto issued a proclamation congratulating her on becoming a centenarian.
"Oh, that's very wonderful," she said as Ponto handed her a certificate.
Snitko said she attributes her good health to years spent as a professional dancer, traveling throughout North America. She still does her warm-ups.
Born in 1914, just six months before World War I began, Snitko lived through both World Wars, the Great Depression and many personal hardships, like losing her first husband when her son, Gary Lavann, was 3.
Lavann said he thinks she has remained healthy so long by keeping herself busy with things she loves — "and hopefully good genes."
In addition to dancing, Snitko worked for Sears Corp. for 18 years, and volunteered as a foster grandmother at Ethan Allen School for more than 25 years. She has two children, five grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
"She has shown me just to try to be as good a person as you can and stay healthy," Lavann said.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Business Notes: Dec. 18
- Brookfield public hearing brings out sizable support for quarry housing proposal
- Ask Now: Does Brookfield have the third-largest tax base in the state?
- Brookfield shoppers advised to take caution
- Brookfield and Elm Grove Police Report: Dec. 11
- Town of Brookfield welcomes potential new partner on The Corners development
- Brookfield and Elm Grove meetings: Dec. 18
- Local artist Sue Lawton writes and illustrates 'The Fire Keepers' for Sharon Lynne Wilson Center
- Brookfield Public Library recommendations: Dec. 18
- Weekly Planner: Dec. 18