Flushing House Resident Gertrude Coopersmith Celebrates 100th Birthday

Feb 24, 2011, 14:45 ET from Flushing House

FLUSHING, N.Y., Feb. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From gas lights to electricity, from cars you cranked to state-of-the-art hybrids, Gertrude Coopersmith has seen it all.  Well, perhaps not all.  On April 10th, Gertrude, a resident of Flushing House since June 5, 2006, will celebrate her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends, in the retirement home's rooftop lounge overlooking New York's panoramic skyline.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110224/DC54328)

Her birthday is really April 1st but as Gertrude tells it, "I was the youngest of six girls.  You see, my parents wanted a boy, but I was born on April 1st, so I fooled them!"  Her sister Julia Berkowitz, who was also a resident of Flushing House, recently passed away after reaching 101 years.  It would seem longevity is 'all in the family.'

Born Gertrude Klein on April 1, 1911 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, she was soon to pick up the nickname of Etee by her sister Julia, who couldn't pronounce Gertrude.  She is still called by that name today, by some members of her family.  

When Gertrude was 10, the family moved to Brooklyn.  She attended Erasmus Hall High School, followed by Maxwell Teacher Training School.  After receiving her diploma and a substitute license to teach, Gertrude found employment with the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.  In 1934 she married Hyman Coopersmith, who she had known since 14.  Her marriage of 61 years has been marked by dedication to her children.

During the 1970s, they moved to Florida and after her husband passed, Gertrude came back north in 1996 and has managed on her own.  She is still very active and mentally in tune with what's happening in the world.  She no longer bakes, but still paints, reads, does crossword puzzles, and has even entered today's world of hi-tech.  She has a cell phone and plans to master the computer.  But don't let that petite, Grandma-look fool you.  She is a master at Scrabble and has proven so to her three children, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren!

Built in 1974, Flushing House is the largest, not-for-profit, independent living retirement residence in New York State.  Visit us at: www.flushinghouse.com.

Contact: Robert F. Salant, 347-532-3025

SOURCE Flushing House