A World War II vet who worked as a machine operator and community servant and then traveled the world turned 105 last month and claims the key to a fulfilling life is family, faith and to “try everything.”
“Everything and anything,” Susan “Susie” Rossetti, 105, of Watervliet, New York, told Fox News Digital.
“I never said ‘no’ to anything. If I couldn’t do it, I tried it. I didn’t ever say, ‘I can’t do it.’ When it happened, I tried it.”
A lifelong resident of Watervliet, Rossetti said she treasures her tight-knit community.
“I grew up here, two blocks away,” Rossetti said. “I love Watervliet. It’s been a good life for me and my family. I lived here all my life and I love it.”
Rossetti’s community seems to value her just the same.
“She is just an amazing woman,” Watervliet city councilwoman Barb Diamond, who is also a family friend of Rossetti’s, told Fox News Digital.
“She didn’t miss anything. She’s been a staple at community events and birthday parties,” Diamond added. “She was the grand marshal in our Memorial Day parade in 2019 before COVID hit. She threw out the first pitch on the opening day of Little League. She’s everywhere. She never missed anything.”
Watervliet Mayor Charles Patricelli, who also grew up with Rossetti at the center of community and church events, agreed.
“She’s just so friendly,” Patricelli told Fox News Digital.
“Very involved in our church. As a kid, she was someone we respected, but at that time, you know, we really didn’t know a lot about her history. When she was around 100, we found out she was a WWII veteran, and we actually interviewed her. The stories she was telling — she was incredible. Sharp as a whip,” he added.
Rossetti grew up on Third Avenue in Watervliet.
In 1943, at age 24, she decided to leave her home and her job as a seamstress to serve her country, enlisting in the U.S. Army.
“Everybody else was gone,” Rossetti said.
“I said, ‘Well, I have nothing to do. I’m going to go, too. I want to do my part.”
She landed at Williams Air Force Base in Chandler, Arizona — nearly 2,500 miles from home.
“I was a mimeograph operator in the message center at Williams,” Rossetti said.
“My responsibility was to [copy] everything that was supposed to be printed out as mail in the message center,” she added. “All the mail went through there. I did all the mail.”
When she arrived on the base, Rossetti said she knew nothing about operating a mimeograph machine — but ended up considering it an exciting challenge.
“‘I’m not a mimeograph operator, I’m a sewing machine operator,’” Rossetti said she told her commanding officer.
“I didn’t know anything about running a mimeograph machine. They said, ‘You’ll learn.’ I found out how to do it — and I was aces at it.”
Though she was not in combat, Rossetti said she remembers some tense moments.
“Williams was an airfield training center,” Rossetti said.
“The only thing that bothered me was when you heard of a crash and things like that. That was upsetting,” she added.
“But other than that, it was a wonderful place. A very, very good organization. The people were wonderful. And I didn’t want to leave, it was so good.”
But when the war ended, she went home — and returned to her job as a seamstress for Tiny Town Togs, a renowned New York children’s clothing maker.
“I went back to my useful job making mostly children’s dresses,” Rossetti said.
Clothing made by Tiny Town Togs can be found today at many vintage shops — and some pieces command top prices.
Rossetti has always made — and continues to make — politics her business.
“She was very politically active and a big supporter of our local Democratic committee,” Barb Diamond said.
“She knew all the people and was at all the functions, parties and fundraisers,” she added. “Today she follows what’s happening on the national level and she could have a conversation with just about anybody and hold her own because she is so aware of what’s going on.”
Rossetti was an avid golfer into her early 90s. Today, she will enjoys watching golf tournaments on TV.
And to stay fit, she worked around the house.
“I did a lot of garden work,” she said. “Housework and anything else, you know. That’s all I needed. When I did garden work, I didn’t need anything else for exercise,” Rossetti said.
Faith has been a guiding force in Rossetti’s life, she said.
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