Chenango Valley Home resident marks 100th birthday

NORWICH – Chenango Vally Home resident Virginia Wentzel Breed has lived through the most influential events of the century, including two world wars, the depression, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and the moon landing. Now in her 100th year, Breed says she’s lived more than most people can ever dream to, in number of years and experience.

Residents and staff at the Chenango Valley Home and Apartments will host a birthday bash on May 12 for Breed and her friends and family, most of whom now live in Wisconsin and Vermont.

“I’ve had a wonderful life,” Breed said, looking back on her fondest days. “And I’ve had problems like everybody else ... I think the thing about being 100 years old is that there is too much to remember.”

Born in Richland Center, WI on May 14, 1912, Virginia only found herself in Norwich in 1946, after her first husband, Al Wentzel, found a job helping to manage a canning plant for Chenango Foods, Inc. Prior to that, things were touch and go, she recalled. The Great Depression made jobs few and far between, forcing the couple and their first-born son to move around the midwest from Chicago to Detroit. Along the way, Breed used a college degree in journalism to work at small town and urban newspapers, including a brief stint at Chenango’s own Evening Sun.

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