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The key to a long life: Not getting married?

Posted: 5:48 PM, Nov 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-16 11:02:06-05

Catherine Abate tells everyone she is 89 years-old-- but today she turned 109 years-old. She is very humble and doesn't even like to celebrate her big day. 

"It's just another day," Abate says. The residents and staff at The Elderwood Assisted Living home in Hamburg threw Catherine a party to celebrate her milestone birthday. 

"She does not realize she is one of such few that reached that age," Jo Ballard, one of Catherine's friends said. 

The key to her long life?

"Well... she has never been married," Sarah Rowe, the administrator at Elderwood Assisted Living said.  

Abate likes to tell people that not getting married and living with family is what helped keep her alive for so long, Ballard said.  

Catherine was born in Italy in 1909 and immigrated to Buffalo in 1919. You could say she has seen it all-- Two World Wars, 19 Presidents, an explosion of technology and she was even born a year after the model T was invented. 

"I had a good life," Abate added. She loved to cook classic Italian meals with her family. 

To friends, Catherine is a laid back lady who loves to do a variety of things. Catherine is very energetic and loves to go on day trips that the facility provides, Rowe added. Last summer she took a day trip to the Erie County fair and went on a wine tour. 

"It's a day out rather than sit here," Abate said. 

For her special day, the Senior Wishes organization fulfilled one of Catherine's bucket list activites. All she wanted to do was take a ride to her old neighborhood in North Buffalo and have a spagetti dinner with her two nephews. At 3pm today her wish came true. 

"I'm amazed," Rowe said. "She is 109 and the things she does around here.... Her interest in going on all these outings and her ability to go on all these outings."

From all of us at 7 Eyewitness News, Happy Birthday Catherine! Cheers to 109 years! 

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