Celebrating 100-year birthdays never gets old


Ann Gobey (seated) celebrates her 100th birthday with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

May 11, 2014 was a special Mother's Day for Ann Gobey of Altamonte Springs. The resident of Life Care Center celebrated the national holiday and her 99th birthday all on the same day. This year Mother's Day will fall one day short of Gobey's birthday, so her 100th birthday will have a special day of its own. On Saturday, March 29, Gobey's children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and members of the Jewish Pavilion gathered together for an early celebration of the momentous occasion.

Though Gobey made note that she was not quite 100 as of yet, she welcomed the outpouring of affection from family and friends. Daughter, Carolyn Kimelman, commented that her mother had a talent of bringing people together, and always talked to everyone. Kimelman lives locally and is a regular visitor at Life Care. Son, Ed Shouel, and his wife, Michele, drove up from Naples, where the snowbirds from the Northeast spent the winter. Shouel smiled at his mother, asking her to share the name of her favorite (and only) son. He revealed that Gobey had worked in retail in women's apparel (Lerner Shops and Lord & Taylor) into her 80s, and lived independently until her mid 90s. The Bronx native relocated to Florida 44 years ago, and has resided in elder facilities for the past several years.

Jewish Pavilion volunteer Pat Rubenstein visited Gobey first at Horizon Bay in Altamonte Springs and then followed her to Life Care Center. Rubenstein noted, "Ann watches over and cares about her neighbors wherever she resides. She will say to me something like, 'I haven't seen one of our residents in the halls lately. Can you check on her?'"

Pavilion volunteer and friend Elaine Gamson shared that Gobey was a friend of her late mother, Rebecca Gaeser, and kept a watchful eye over her, as well. For several years Gamson brought mah jongg players to Horizon Bay so Gobey and other mah jongg enthusiasts could enjoy a regular game.

When Kimmelman cut into her mother's birthday cake (with the wording "Happy 100th Birthday Mamama"), the room broke into applause, smiles, and celebration, with 100 reasons to celebrate Ann Gobey.


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