Holiday Island resident leaves 100 years of memories

Friday, September 19, 2014
Sally Marcus at her 100th birthday party. Photo submitted

HOLIDAY ISLAND -- It's no small feat to reach a 100th birthday, but Sally Marcus, who lived at Green Acre Lodge Assisted Living in Holiday Island, did just that, on Sept. 10.

Days before, on Sept. 7, her family arranged for a birthday party for her. Many members of the family attended, along with friends, and her doctor.

Marcus was born Sept. 10, 1914 and passed away on Sept. 16 at the age of 100.

She had lived in Holiday Island for about seven years, said close friend Sharon Rolof. Rolof met Marcus when she worked for the Area Agency on Aging, and the two hit it off and became friends.

"She was born in Chicago, Ill., and came from a Lithuanian family," Rolof said. "She was the youngest of eight kids."

Rolof remembers her with great fondess.

"Sally was a very strong-willed woman, a family person who was always there for her nieces and nephews," she said.

Marcus had a great sense of humor and often told many jokes.

"She told a story about a man who said he felt like a dog. When the doctor asked him how long it had been going on, he said ever since he was a puppy," Rolof said. "Sally always had a joke for everybody."

Rolof said Marcus started working at age 14 as a secretary, then became the secretary to the CEO of a company that made kitchenware. She traveled extensively and bought many items for her family members, as well as taking them on cruises.

She never married, but, based on a promise to her mother, told her boyfriend she couldn't marry until her mother passed on. By the time her mother passed on, her boyfriend had, too.

Marcus came to Holiday Island and lived with her sister until the sister passed about four years ago.

Rolof said Marcus had a very active mind and was disappointed when the group at Green Acre played Bingo, but there were no prizes.

"Why would I want to play Bingo if they don't give prizes?" she told Rolof.

At Sally Marcus' 100th birthday party, a poster displayed many photos from her busy life. Photo submitted

Rolof told Marcus she should have received a birthday card from the President of the United States because of turning 100.

"I don't want a card; send money!" Marcus quipped.

The evening of her party she told Rolof, "I didn't get any money!" and Rolof said, "Well, what would you do with it?"

But one card had two $5 bills in it, which perked Marcus up.

The party was planned, not only to celebrate reaching the 100th birthday milestone, but because Marcus was terminally ill, and the family knew time was running out.

"She has been a delight," Rolof said. "Every time we got together, we did a lot of laughing. I asked if she had any regrets. And she said, 'No, I don't, but I miss being able to run up and downstairs.' So I told her, 'Honey, go to be with the Lord, and you can start running up and downstairs again.

"This has been a great experience," Rolof said, of her friendship with Marcus. "We hit it off right away, and I feel like we were kindred spirits. I will miss her."

Before she passed, Marcus received loving phone calls from her family members. She passed away Sept. 16 in Hospice, with Rolof by her side.

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