By Danielle Agoglia – As appeared in The Glen Cove Herald
Taking long walks is something Anne Kozinsky said she always enjoyed doing. And at the age of 101, she still doesn’t need any assistance from a cane, walker or a nurse. Last Saturday Kozinsky celebrated her 101st birthday at The Regency in Glen Cove. “It just happened,” she said, insisting that she doesn’t have any secret to a long life. “It’s all God’s will. I had nothing to do with it really.” You would never guess that Kozinsky had reached a century; she appears to be in her late 70’s at best. She dresses herself, knows what jewelry will look best, does her own hair and is completely self-sufficient.
Kozinsky’s parents came to the U.S. from Sicily, Italy, on their honeymoon and ended up staying. As second-generation Italian Americans, Kozinsky and her five siblings were raised in a household where everyone spoke Italian. “My first words were Italian because my mother couldn’t speak any other language,” she said. “We learned English when went to school.” Unlike today with preschools offering English as a Second Language (ESL), Kozinsky and her siblings learned the language with the help of their neighbors, and then picked up the rest when they started school.
When Kozinsky’s father died when he was 50, she stepped up to help her mother raise the family. Even though she had an older sister, Kozinsky became the caretaker for her four younger brothers. She said her father had always called her “the little mother.”
“My mother was left with six children and she didn’t know the language,” Kozinsky said. “I had to be the interpreter in those days.” She believes that God works in mysterious ways because although she is married, Kozinsky never had any children. But she attended to her younger brothers like they were her children, and she had always felt like they were to this day. Kozinsky continued to be a caretaker into her adult life. She lived with and took care of her mother; her husband, and two of her brothers, all towards the end of their lives.
Even though her father died relatively young, it’s possible longevity runs in their family. Kozinsky mother lived into her 80’s and 90’s, and her older sister will be turning 102 in January. Both Kozinsky and her sister, Sara Calabro, are independent in their centennial age. In fact, neither of them take any kind of medication, which maybe, is the secret after all. Kozinsky said she’s done so many things in her life, it’s hard to keep track. She was a dressmaker, an ice-skater and a motel manager, but insists she lived a simple life. “When the time comes then I’ll write a book,” she said. “That’s a different story.”