PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Mary Hlynsky marked a major milestone Thursday.
The Providence resident, who was born in 1918 and grew up in rural Pennsylvania, celebrated her 105th birthday surrounded by family and friends.
Hlynsky has lived at Wingate Residences on the East Side for more than a decade. Wingate Residences Executive Director Vincent Messina tells 12 New she is their oldest resident.
“She has been very vibrant,” Messina said. “We’ve celebrated many birthdays with her, including her 100th birthday.”
Her daughter Karen Hlynsky described her mother as being “a very sweet and loving person.”
“We’ve had her for a long time,” Hlynsky said. “Our family knows this is an unusual milestone and it is wonderful that others recognize that and are celebrating it with us.”
“We know there aren’t many people, especially in Rhode Island, who reach the age of 105,” she continued. “The fact that she is being recognized for living a long life is really important to us.”
Providence Mayor Brett Smiley stopped by Wingate Residences with a bouquet of flowers for Mary, which her daughter said are “her favorite.” Smiley also honored Mary with a citation from the city.
Though Mary didn’t say much throughout the celebration, Karen knows her mother is grateful.
“Even though she’s not in the position to give more than kisses and hand squeezes at this point, we know she appreciates everybody,” she said.
Mary has had her fair share of health scares over the years, including COVID-19 a couple of years ago, but she has always bounced back.
“My mom is like the Energizer bunny,” Karen explained. “She has always been very sturdy.”
“We don’t know how much longer she will be with us, but we’re at 105 [years] and that in itself is an amazing accomplishment,” she continued.