Anna Szymusiak's 102nd birthday

Rebekah Manor residents Michael Saxon, who turned 102 on Oct. 3, and Anna Szymusiak, who will turn 102 on Oct. 17, are entertained by musician Tom Voytas during a joint birthday celebration Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, at the facility.

EBENSBURG – Just last week, the residents of Rebekah Manor in Ebensburg celebrated a milestone 102nd birthday of one of its residents, Michael Saxon, a Carrolltown native. 

On Thursday, the assisted living facility celebrated a second resident who will turn 102 next Thursday. 

Anna (Barosky) Szymusiak was born in Altman, Indiana County, and was the eldest of seven children. 

In 1927, her family moved to Nanty Glo, where her father was a coal miner and her mother was a homemaker. 

She married Frank Szymusiak in 1937 at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church. The couple have one daughter, Rosemary Siuniak. 

Siuniak said while her father worked as a coal miner, her mother was a homemaker known for being a skilled knitter and seamstress, making numerous clothing items for her when she was a child. 

Describing her as “the best mother ever,” Siuniak said her mom was always there, in good times and in bad, surrounded herself with family and was a close friend to her as well. 

“It’s pretty great,” Siuniak said of her mother’s birthday. 

Next week, Siuniak is planning to make dinner for Szymusiak, including a menu of several recipes handed down through the generations of their family. 

Szymusiak has five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. 

She said there’s no secret to reaching 102, as she enjoyed a piece of birthday cake for her and Saxon. 

Saxon, who celebrated his 102nd birthday on Oct. 3, is a father of six and has eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. 

Saxon attended Bakerton School until the eighth grade and then went to work to help his family after his father was injured. He eventually served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 during World War II and earned a Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars and a World War II Victory Medal. 

He later retired from Inland Steel and Krumenacker Lumber Co.

​Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @JBrumbaughTD.

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