2 New Centenarians at Village North Retirement Center

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Art Klassing, a fellow Village North resident, serenades Johnnie Riviere with a birthday song at her party on Jan. 26.

Johnnie Riviere and Ed Juriewicz just turned 100 years old on the week of January 16.

Riviere, a beautiful and impeccably dressed woman who now lives independently at Village North Retirement Community, came to St. Louis for better opportunities than were present in 1934 in her birthplace in rural Mississippi. After a short, unsuccessful marriage with her college sweetheart, Riviere says that she met the true love of her life. She still tears up speaking of how happy he made her during their 32 year marriage that only ended in his death.

Although she never had children, Riviere is also blessed with many nieces, nephews and surviving siblings who adore her. During her birthday party in the dining room at Village North she welcomed everyone there with the statement, “Everyone here is my friend.”

Ed Juriewicz, who also lives independently in an apartment at Village North Retirement Community, can tell you about a long love affair – married 60 years to his wife Helen and sharing the joy of their two children.

He also has a great love of life itself, having moved on from a two-room schoolhouse in Spillertown, Illinois to become a star track athlete at Marian High School. Juriewicz says his standing in sprinting is still unsurpassed there after all these years. He shares how he also played football for the school squad in the leather helmet era.

Juriewicz says that the people living at Village North Retirement Community are a joy to him. He also enjoys visits from his younger brother Leo, age 94. Juriewicz takes advantage of the many activities where he lives so that he stays active and interactive with his friends.

Note: Village North actually has two more tenants over 100 years old – Polly Matthews (100) and Dorothy Walsh (105). At any given time, the community seems to keep constant with centenarians.

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