101-year-old COVID-19 survivor celebrates birthday

A 101-year-old Montrose woman is celebrating her birthday in style this year after fully recovering from the coronavirus.

News 12 Staff

Aug 20, 2021, 9:48 PM

Updated 1,058 days ago

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A 101-year-old Montrose woman is celebrating her birthday in style this year after fully recovering from the coronavirus.
Family and friends gathered outside of the New York state veteran’s home to sing praises and bring cheer to Josephine Vavrek.
Vavrek is celebrating 101 years on earth today and says she doesn’t feel a day over 70.
“I don't feel like I'm a 101...I still have energy,” she says.
The Westchester County woman was born in Peekskill but is a lifelong resident of Buchanan. Vavrek played many roles and live through generations of American history.
"Talk about the stages of America…she's been around since World War II...working on airplanes…being that true Rosie the riveter,” says relative Pete Metzgar.
Vavrek was one of millions of women doing their part to help out during World War II.
“I was a major riveter…I did what men did, you drill and you riveted…it was the Navy bomber,” recalls Vavrek. “I got paid 79 cents an hour for riveting.”
Granddaughter Amy Metzgar calls her grandmother a “strong, remarkable woman.”
Before contributing in World War II, the 101-year-old played varsity basketball at Hendrick Hudson high school, served her community as a nurse and remained active in local Republican politics.
“I think she's really amazing, she's really caring and I love her very much,” says great granddaughter Brooklyn Metzgar.
Vavrek tells News 12 she can’t wait for next year to celebrate 102 years on earth, saying in part, "It's amazing life, I had a good life.”


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