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Johnston Woman Celebrates Birthday; Her 100th Was a Long Time Ago

Dina Manfredini was born April 4, 1897, making her the world's second-oldest person.

One Johnston woman celebrated a very special birthday yesterday.

Dina Manfredini turned 115-years-old, making her the World's second oldest living person. Besse Cooper is currently the oldest at almost 116 years of age.

On Wednesday her family threw a birhtday party in her honor at the in Johnston, according to WHOtv.

Manfredini, who was born on April 4, 1897 in Italy, is healthy and strong according to an August 2011 article by the Diocese of Des Moines.

Having lived during a portion of three centuries, Manfredini has surely seen much in her lifetime.

She was born before the Wright Brother's faithful flight, she was 15-years-old when the Titanic sank.

She lived through World War I in Europe, before moving to the United States in 1920.

She went to work in the 1940s she worked at a plant in Ankney to support her family thought World War II and the Great Depression.

Today, according to the Diocese article, Manfredini's hearing isn't very good but she can move around her retirement community with the help of a walker.

A Facebook page for Manfredini said she is not only the second-oldest living person in the United States but the oldest living Italian person in the world.

She moved to Des Moines in 1920 to be with her husband Riccardo Manfredini, whom died in 1965, according to the Diocese's article.

The couple raised four children.

From the Diocese article:

Dina’s husband worked in the city’s coal mines until hurting his back. Then she went to work to make ends meet. As the nation prepared for World War II, Dina worked at the Des Moines Ordnance Plant in Ankeny where 2 million rounds of ammunition were produced a day. She also worked at Swift cracking eggs that would be turned into powdered eggs for U.S. soldiers. She also cleaned houses until she was 90, lying about her age so people wouldn’t think she was too old to work.

In 1939, Dina and her husband bought a little bungalow on 1st Street in Valley Junction. Riccardo died in 1965 and Dina continued to live there until moving into the Martina Place Assisted Living Residence at the in Johnston about four years ago when she was 110. These days, she spends much of her day sleeping.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Iowa had 793 residents over the age of 100, including Manfredini.

In the 2010 Census there were 53,365 Centenarians, people 100 and older, living in the United States.

Ashlee Kieler April 05, 2012 at 02:27 PM
If you were 115 years, what event in history would you have wanted to witness?

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