Jean Camillo, a lifelong resident of Port Chester, celebrated her 107th birthday on Thursday, Aug. 16 with family and friends at The Enclave at Port Chester Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
"She had a wonderful time,''' said her son, Dr. Joseph Camillo of Rye Brook, a retired dentist, who brought the birthday cake.
Camillo said his mother grew up with eight siblings in a wealthy household. Her father, an Italian immigrant who used to walk to Stamford, CT, from Port Chester as a shoe-shine boy, ultimately owned a successful construction company with horse-drawn wagons.
Nicola Carlucci's construction company built the historic stone wall that runs along Byram Shore Park. But ultimately Carlucci lost everything including his five-bedroom house during the Great Depression.
Jean Carlucci married Anthony Camillo, a Greenwich native who served as a Port Chester police officer and died at the age of 87.
"My mother never drank or smoked,"" Dr. Camillo said. "She's a great reader. She's got all of her faculties."
"She is as feisty a person as anyone in your life,'' he said. "She'll argue about anything."
Dr. Camillo added, "You're going to die when I tell you this. At 89 years old, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer."
Specialists said she might live five years.
"What are my chances of dying on the table?" she asked her surgeons, who told her about 10 percent. "Let's get on with it,'' she replied.
Michael Berman, recreation director at The Enclave at Port Chester Rehab and Nursing Center, at 1000 High St., said, "We are all excited here to help celebrate such a milestone."
Berman said that Jean is one of four Enclave residents who are at least 100 years old "and we have a few more that are 95-plus."
The facility celebrates monthly birthdays for residents throughout the center: So Jean will get to celebrate her 107th birthday -- again -- on Aug. 28, Berman said.
"She loves the facility," Dr. Camillo said of The Enclave, where his mother has lived three years. "She really loves the food. She really loves the place."
She graduated from Port Chester High School in 1928. Her brother, Joseph Carlucci, was the first Italian mayor of Port Chester in the 1950s.
In addition to Dr. Camillo and his wife, Shirley, Jean has six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Her daughter died at the age of 52.
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