Veteran in Yountville celebrates 100th birthday

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. (KTVU) -- It's not everyday that someone turns 100 years old, but in Yountville on Tuesday, a World War II veteran with an amazing sense of humor celebrated her centennial.

"To life! L'chaim!" exclaimed Elizabeth Rosenzweig in her room at the Veterans Home of California.

The staff and her friends had a small celebration for her in the morning. 

"I can't believe that I'm 100. And I can't believe all this wonderful excitement and friendship and love," Rosenzweig said.

She was born in 1915 in the Bronx and lived in a tenement with next to nothing. 


"For refrigeration, my mother would put the meat or whatever out on the windowsill," remembered Rosenzweig. "And for air conditioning, we slept on the fire escape."


During World War II, Rosenzweig's husband was serving overseas. She decided to join the Women's Army Corps, a move that did not sit well with her mother. 


"She passed out. But she found a very nice couch to fall on," she said with a smile.

Rosenzweig worked stateside as a secretary for two years. 


"But the main thing I am proud of is we gave a lot of blood," said Rosenzweig.

She still likes to go have the occasional beer or glass of wine at a local bar. One might think that at Rosenzweig's age, she would be coasting through life and not worried about self-improvement. But she says since she moved to the Veterans Home ten years ago, she has grown. 


"I've changed for the better, much for the better. I was more superficial." At 90, she was more superficial than she is now? "Well, that was my youth," she laughed.

Rosenzweig is herself evidence that -- as she says -- you can teach an old dog new tricks.

She has two surviving children, plus four grand daughters and three great grand daughters. They'll be coming to town for a big birthday celebration this weekend.

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