Family and friends of Anna Mary Ogozalek, a resident of Summit Hill who is a guest at the Mahoning Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Mahoning Township, gathered on Sunday, Oct. 23, to celebrate her 100th birthday which will be held on Wednesday of this week.
Close to 50 persons were on hand for the special celebration, during which time the honoree received proclamations from state Rep. Doyle Heffley and William J. O'Gurek, chairman of the Carbon County Board of Commissioners.
Greetings were also offered by Ed Smith, commander of the Tamaqua American Legion Post 173, where Mrs. Ogozalek has been a longtime member of the auxiliary.
Born in 1911 to Polish immigrants, the late Joseph and Mary (Kocon) Porambo, the birthday celebrant was married to the late Joseph Ogozalek, a coal miner in the Panther Valley mines who met an untimely death at the age of 39 due to a mining accident.
Left to survive with three then young children, Mrs. Ogozalek worked in the garment industry to raise her family, retiring at the age of 70.
Her children include Virginia Zabo, Len Ogozalek and the late Joe "Buddy" Ogozalek. Her two sons are military veterans.
Mrs. Ogozalek is one of eight siblings, having had four brothers and three sisters. Among them are Walter Porambo and Rose Pruskowski, who joined her at the birthday celebration, as did many of her seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, an aunt and 27 nieces and nephews.
In addition to her membership in the American Legion Auxiliary, Anna is a member of St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, Lansford, and its predecessor, the former SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.
She boasts of being the "No. 1 fan" of the Pennsylvania Villagers polka band.