It is often said that it is not the years in your life that count, but rather the life in your years. Of course, there are exceptions where both measures of vitality are highly impressive for an individual, and one such exemplary person is Mary “Lou” Rousseau. Lou just celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday, August 6th. In attendance were her family, friends, caregivers, and State Senator Mae Flexer who provided a citation of accomplishment on behalf of the Connecticut State Assembly.
Born on August 6th, 1919 in Bennington, Vermont, Lou has lived in New England for the greater portion of her life. She is a direct descendent of French painter Henri Rousseau, and is the older sister to Connie and Francis “Red” Rousseau, an active member of the Putnam Fire Department.
Around the time of World War II her father and brother arrived in Putnam, Connecticut to join the labor force in the local factories. During the war she worked at Pratt & Whitney herself, and in the peacetime that followed she found work at American Optical as a press operator. Lou continued her employment there until 1979 when she retired
Lou and her lifelong companion Steve lived in Putnam together for many years. They shared an apartment above a place known as “Henry’s Variety” and in one of life’s unfortunate turns, the store below was destroyed in a fire and along with it most of their personal belongings. In finding a silver lining, Lou has joked that this helped to eliminate a lot of things she had collected in excess. She and Steve were socially active in dance groups at local clubs, and the two enjoyed travelling frequently to Vermont and Massachusetts to spend time among family and to Germany to spend time among friends.
According to her family she loved social occasions and relished every opportunity to bake a big, fancy cake for special celebrations. Her niece, Dale, recalled one particular story where her aunt Lou went through extra efforts to secure enough gasoline to transport her wedding cake up to Vermont amidst the austere chapter of American wartime rationing. Dale went on further to remark that Lou represents the "best of blue-collar America.” It was therefore proper that her nieces and nephews returned the favor to their aunt as they gathered on August 6th at the facility and presented her with a birthday cake.
On this recent Tuesday afternoon, as Lou and family enjoyed the fellowship of Westview staff the State Senator, she was presented with the official citation that was introduced by Senator Flexer. Administrator David T. Panteleakos stated, “Mary Rousseau is such an inspiration to all of us here at Westview. The average age of our residents is 84 and we are always so excited every time we host a centennial celebration. Actually, if you add up all of the years of every resident here today, Westview residents make up 8,460 years of living and life experiences. Happy 100th Birthday to Mary Rousseau!”
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 12 years.
If you or your loved one would like more information or to take a tour of the facility, we invite you to a closer look at Westview Health Care Center.
Please contact our Resident Services office at 860-774-8574