August 01, 2017
Two Milestone Birthdays in One Day at Martine!
Both White Plains Mayor Thomas M. Roach and New York State Senator of the 35th District, Andrea Stewart-Cousinsboth said it right when they pointed to the fact that it is rare when a centennial birthday happens, so what are the chances when two centennial birthdays happen together? This is what happened at the Martine Center on Tibbits Avenue in White Plains on August 1st when resident Katherine Raines turned 100 and fellow resident Mary Nannariello turned 102, both birthdays being August 1st. With both ladies smiling from ear to ear and celebrating with families, a room full of residents and staff, they were both presented with proclamations from Mayor Roach and Senator Stewart-Cousins.
“Ms. Katherine Raines and Ms. Mary Nannariello have led long, full lives enriched by the blessing of love,” said Senator Stewart-Cousins. “A community of friends, family, and loved ones gathered together at the Martine Center to celebrate their birthdays, demonstrating very clearly that love can lead to longevity.”
Born on August 1, 1917 and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, Katherine Raines’ mother was a dressmaker and her father, a pharmacist. Katherine attended Virginia State College, where she majored in Sociology and lead her to becoming a social worker. In her early 30’s, she moved to Harlem after she married William Raines, a former World War II pilot of the infamous Tuskegee Airmen, later becoming a successful lawyer in Harlem who represented many top businesses and notables. A marriage that lasted over 50 years, William had built Katherine a house in Englewood, NJ and lived there until moving to Valhalla and later, White Plains, to live with William Jr. and William Gaines III.
“The greatest things in life are nothing materialistic, they are my love of God and my family,” said Ms. Raines.“Have a goal and work through it.”
Katherine has one son and two grandchildren. Her son, William Raines Jr., who was present at the celebration with his son, William Raines III, took care of her for 15 years before the decision to place her in a nursing home. Katherine had felt indifferent about the idea of going to a nursing home at first, but the Martine Center changed all of that.
“I love the Martine Center,” she said. “There is so much to do here”.
Mary Nannariello, now 102 years young, was also smiling during the celebration. Attending the party was her grandson, Rick Nannariello, her granddaughter, Patti Hartnett and her three children, Mary’s great grandchildren. Born in New York City on August 1, 1915, Mary and her family moved to Yonkers and then to White Plains where she worked for the White Plains Board of Education in a secretarial capacity. Her daughter Carol Nannariello said that her mother had a special gift of having a photographic memory for clothing, being able to re-create a piece of garment at home using the same fabric after seeing it once elsewhere. In 1935, Mary married Louis (Ted) Nannariello who worked for the White Plains Post Office and together they had four children. Ted passed away in 2002 but as of today, they were blessed for having 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, with one more grandchild on the way. Mary has only been at the Center since January after her son Rich had been taking care of her for many years.
“I don’t feel like 102, I feel more like being very happy,” said Mary.
The party included a few speeches by Senator Stewart-Cousins and Mayor Roach and music was provided by The Latoven Show vocalist Charli LaToven.
“I’d like to thank the Martine Center for inviting me to participate in the celebration of these two women who have reached amazing milestone birthdays,” said Mayor Roach. “We are very focused today as a society on living longer, healthier, more meaningful lives. These women embody those goals and we can learn much from them. We also know that along with living healthier, love from family and friends as well as a caring environment, such as here at the Martine Center contributes positively to the longevity we all seek.”