Rose Schwinder celebrated her 100th birthday in November at Charter Senior Living, now Alto Senior Living of Alpharetta.
A party Nov. 11 honored the facility’s oldest resident, who was born to Gussie and Joseph Kraft on Nov. 15, 1917, in New York.
She lived most of her life in Fair Lawn, N.J., until moving to Bickford Assisted Living, which became Charter and then Alto, at age 95 to be near her daughter, Gail Heller.
The entire staff joined in celebrating the milestone for Rose, who is adored for her loving nature, beautiful smile, wonderful sense of humor and signature red hair.
Her family attributes her longevity to her sweet disposition, her refusal to discuss her age, and her enjoyment of ice cream and chocolate candy whenever possible.
Her family includes son Gary and his wife, Idelle; daughter Gail; grandchildren Eric and his wife, Amanda, Ethan and his wife, Becky, Meredith and her fiancé, David, and Jared; and great-grandchildren Henry and Gwen.
Rose’s father was from Russia, and her mother was from Romania. She and her older brothers, Harry and Ben, lived in Brooklyn until moving to Passaic, N.J., where Rose graduated from high school. Joseph Kraft owned a movie theater, then a women’s coat factory.
Rose worked as a saleswoman in a Passaic dress shop.
In 1945 she met Murry Schwinder, a World War II veteran from West New York, N.J., who had immigrated to the United States from Austria as a teenager and participated in the Normandy invasion. They married June 16, 1946, and moved into an apartment in Paterson, N.J.
Their first child, Gary, was born in 1947. Second child Gail was born soon after they moved to a house they built on Fair Haven Place in Fair Lawn.
Murry, who dressed windows in retail stores and showrooms throughout New Jersey and
New York City, died in 1978 after 32 years of marriage.
Rose married widower Harold Taylor in August 1982, and they lived in the house on Fair Haven Place until he died of heart disease in 2006.
With help from son Gary, Rose stayed in that house until she moved to Alpharetta five years ago.