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Centenarian Honored by CT General Assembly and Former Colleague

May 4, 2018

     In 1918 Veronica “Von” Hibbard was born. A century later—yes, a century later—she celebrated her 100th birthday at Westview Health Care Center. For such a momentous occasion, she received lots of attention within the halls of Westview and a Centenarian Citation from the halls of Connecticut’s State Capital. Veronica is the youngest of 4 siblings; a position which she claims made her the “spoiled one” of the bunch. Yet this special status didn’t last long, because she grew up on a farm, and in addition to livestock, crops, and dairy, farms develop hardiness.

     “We broke in the calves, or maybe they broke us in!” Veronica delivers this line as if the triumphs and tribulations of cow-rearing happened yesterday. “Have you ever tried to break in a calf?” she asks. Admittedly, this author has not. “Oh, you’ve got to hang on tight, because they’re slippery. They’ll dump you and take off!” Perhaps Ms. Hibbard can credit this teaching of tirelessness in her youth for her longevity later in life.

     Veronica spent her whole life in Woodstock, CT. She, and her family, gave back as much if not more than they ever claimed from the community. The Hibbard family name has been associated with Christmas tree plantations and dairy farms for generations, and now their name also represents over 100 acres of protected forest in North Woodstock. In addition to contributing to a local agricultural legacy, she served as “Judge Hibbard”, presiding over probate cases from 1970-88, and from 1974-88 she simultaneously held the title of Woodstock Town Clerk.

     During Veronica’s tenure as Town Clerk she had an Assistant Town Clerk named Judy Walberg. Judy is now the Town Clerk of Woodstock, and the two colleagues had a wonderful reunion on April 16th at Westview. They smiled as soon as they saw each other again, and this expression remained throughout the presentation. At one point Judy remarked “You sound just the way I remember you when we were in the office together!” Later, she elaborated: “Von is such a wonderful mentor, a wonderful community member, and a wonderful friend.”

     Veronica’s ability to interact with people on a lighthearted level is profound. Whether it is a long time friend or a completely new acquaintance, she insists on finding a way to connect, and it will often be humorous. As seen in the photograph, Judy Walberg joined Connecticut State Representative Patrick Boyd (D-50th District) to present Veronica’s Citation from the Connecticut General Assembly. The officially-sealed document praises her for 100 years of life, the important things she did, and the wonderful impact she continues to have during a century of life.

Westview Health Care Center is a 103-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, which includes a distinct and self-contained 28-bed sub-acute short-term rehabilitation unit and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapies including: Sports Medicine, Adolescent/Pediatric, Adult and Aquatic Outpatient Centers, all dedicated to providing outstanding quality health care services. The facility is located in Dayville, Connecticut and is ranked among the top nursing facilities in the nation according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service; and U.S. News and World Report for the past 10 years.

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