Rosalia Zona was born two months right after the Titanic sank and survived the 1918 pandemic. She lived by means of the Great Depression, labored as a design and could have finished up in Hollywood.
She lifted five small children, secured a divorce and earned a higher education degree in her 60s.
She constantly retained heading. In the a long time major up to her 108th birthday in June, she could be found vacationing in such places as Italy and Bermuda, likely to parties and taking piano lessons — even when she wasn’t feeling very well.
“She didn’t permit any person or something get her down. She was rough and determined what she wished, she created guaranteed she bought it,” said Zona’s longtime housemate and pal Mary Ann Romano, 78. “She genuinely did every little thing.”
Zona, the Town of Huntington’s oldest resident, died Aug. 5 in Huntington Hospital following battling a blood and heart an infection. She was 108.
Rosalia Zona was born June 17, 1912 in Hell’s Kitchen. She invested a pair of childhood years in a city just outside Milan, Italy, with her spouse and children, and later returned to Manhattan.
She grew to become a design at age 14 with the John Robert Powers agency and did that into her early grownup a long time. She favored to share memories of that time in her daily life, which integrated regular outings at Central Park On line casino in Manhattan and the Lido Place Club in Prolonged Seashore. Romano said Zona turned down an option to go to Hollywood to instead get married and have a loved ones.
She married Raymond Havilcek in 1943 and lifted five youngsters in Queens. The relatives afterwards moved to Dix Hills.
“She was a definitely … a pretty, incredibly focused mom. She definitely wanted a significant relatives — the far more the greater — and she just took treatment of anything,” said Zona’s oldest son, Ray Havlicek, of Lake Placid.
When she was almost 60, she went to college or university and majored in advertising and marketing and communications at the Trend Institute of Technology. She graduated and worked as a trend expert for the now-defunct B. Altman and Co. on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan until finally she was well into her 70s.
After her divorce, Zona purchased a Huntington Station home in 1971 and Romano, who she’d satisfied at In good shape, moved out of her parents’ household to move in with Zona, Romano said. The two lived in the house for the earlier 49 several years.
Havlicek said Zona lived by the phrase: “When the going will get tricky, the difficult get going.”
“That’s the way she was, and that’s how she survived,” Havlicek explained. “All the lousy points that happened in her existence, together with the divorce from my father, absolutely nothing stopped her. She just set her focus appropriate again to in which she desired to be and continued to shift ahead with her lifestyle in a effective and acquiring fashion.”
Zona was a totally free spirit, Romano claimed, recalling a cruise about 12 years ago when Zona participated in a magic present, having the highlight from the magician to become the middle of notice.
“She stole the present from this gentleman,” Romano explained. “Everywhere we went, I could listen to people say, ‘There she is, there’s Rosie.’ They preferred her autograph. They had been producing a big deal out of her.”
Through her daily life, she was an artist who painted and experienced a enthusiasm for gardening. She experienced a strong relationship to the Catholic religion and placed many spiritual statues in her garden.
Havlicek mentioned his mother experienced a “wonderful regard for knowledge” and always had an itch to master new items — something she handed down to her little ones. She uncovered and spoke a couple of languages fluently, Romano and Havlicek stated, such as English, several dialects of Italian, French, Spanish and Yiddish.
“It’s connected to how social my mother was. She preferred relating to folks and would use language as a way,” Havlicek said. “New York staying a multiethnic atmosphere, she felt a will need to select up the languages in New York.”
Zona used many of her remaining a long time being energetic and associated in her community. In November, Newsday chronicled the friendship she fashioned with then-Oyster Rides cabdriver Alan Mancini, who she lovingly known as by his nickname, “Boom Growth.” He very last drove her on Feb. 25.
Even nevertheless Zona could not have the birthday bash she hoped for in June at a Huntington cafe, the get together arrived to her instead: A parade was held exterior her residence, where she sat in a wheelchair carrying a tiara and a T-shirt that examine “Queen of Huntington.”
In addition to Ray Havlicek, Zona is survived by daughter, Sarah Havlicek, twin sons John and Philip Havlicek, 11 grandchildren and just one great-grandchild. Her son, Franklin Havlicek, preceded her in dying.
Visitation was Sunday at M.A. Connell Funeral Home in Huntington Station. A funeral Mass was celebrated Monday at St. Patrick’s Church in Huntington. She will be cremated.