The Maternity BVM Seniors last week celebrated the 100th birthday of Carmela DiDonato.
Carmela was born on March 24, 1922, growing up in Swampoodle and as a member of St. Mary of the Eternal, an Italian parish at 22nd and Clearfield streets. She worked several jobs in the neighborhood, with her favorite being at Zitner’s candy shop.
Carmela, who has a daughter, granddaughter and two great-grandchildren, has been a resident of Bustleton for the last 50 years, though she is staying temporarily at St. Joseph’s Manor after a recent fall. She retired a decade ago after working 32 years at the Wendy’s at Red Lion Road and Haldeman Avenue. She was an original employee and stayed until she was 90.
At her birthday celebration, the Joe Staffieri Band entertained. The party was catered by Maggio’s Restaurant, of Southampton. The menu included cupcakes with the No. 100 on them.
Carmela received flowers, a Happy Birthday balloon and a citation from the office of City Councilman Brian O’Neill [R-10th dist.].
The Rev. Paul Quinter, pastor at BVM, offered a prayer and a blessing in Italian.
Carmela’s granddaughter, Danielle, and her great-granddaughter, Gianna, an eighth-grader at BVM, joined the celebration.
Maternity BVM Seniors meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 11 a.m. ••