Held in New Jersey, the party was a surprise for Mary Capasso, a woman born in 1919, who has lived through some major world-changing events.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 21, 2022. It has since been updated.
No one might imagine a dinner party held for Mary Capasso on her 103rd birthday would involve her getting up and dancing with the people there. Even after crossing the 100-year milestone, she still has the mobility to keep it groovy. While we're freaking out about this development, Capasso kept a cool demeanor for the occasion, according to 6ABC. "I was born 1919," said Capasso. "I feel fine, no different than any other day." The party was held at the Watermark's Woodbury Mews in Woodbury, New Jersey where Community Life Director, Susan Sacks explained that she wanted the party to be a surprise for Capasso. "Because that was her passion," says Sacks. "This was the first year we were able to make it happen; to kind of surprise her." The celebration was essentially a ballroom bash involving dancing and some serious celebration.
The dancing is a time reminiscent of her husband. Capasso shared that she met her husband in high school and got married to him in 1941 just a few months before he was drafted to fight in World War II. "My husband and I, we both enjoyed dancing," said Capasso. They took up ball dancing because it was "something we could do together." Her son Carl Capasso Jr. left for college and his parents were met with a startling silence without him. "We felt lost without my son, so we decided we had to do something," she said. "Why not take dancing?"
The hobby transpired into something much bigger, but every story has a humble beginning and so did Capasso's. "It wasn't easy. We did a lot of practicing," Capasso explained. She and her husband trained at the Touch Dancing School in Philadelphia where they were trained by a well-known dancer named Gene Russo. They traveled around and danced in five states. "We were such good dancers," she recalled.
So good that they were well-versed in samba, merengue, waltz, foxtrot, and swing, just to name a few. "We did it all," she said. "That was a lot of fun." And at 103, she once again decided to take a crack at dancing again. "She is still so vibrant at 103," said Sacks. "She's just an amazing woman."
This is just an example of how love can last forever, despite the absence of your partner. While they didn't have to deal with a partner's death, Zechariah and Shama'a, who have been married for 91 years, are equally strong testimonies to the power of long-lasting love, BBC reported. Portraying their sweet devotion, Zechariah said, "Remember, this is my first and last woman that I married." After which he jokingly added, "And I never threw her out." When Shama'a intervened to ask, he inquired, "What? Did I throw you away?" and she very beautifully pacified him with, "Okay, Okay...shh."
Born in Yemen, the Jewish couple fled from their country to avoid poverty and persecution. "We both grew up as orphans. He was motherless and so was I," Shama'a recounted. Wed when they were just 10 and 12 years, with Shama'a being the younger one, it was a common practice to marry orphans early to keep them in the Jewish community. The couple now lives happily in Israel, tending to their farms and cattle.
Cover Image Source: 6ABC