By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Florence Vierra celebrates 105 years
pic flo-turns-105-9-27-10
From left, Sister Ann Venita Britto, Stacy Avila, Lolita Rilcopiro, Father Dante Dammay, Doris Kooyman, Florence Vierra, Beatrice Lewis and Carol Campbell met at Chili’s Restaurant in Manteca to celebrate Vierra’s 105th birthday on Monday. Not pictured is Sylvia Rocha. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin
Florence Vierra turns 105 today.

The Manteca woman celebrated the occasion Monday with friends and family at the local Chili’s Grill and Bar Restaurant.

Every birthday is special for the family matriarch with grandchildren spanning five generations.

Vierra has been a parishioner of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church for about 50 years. She received a birthday blessing from Father Dante Dammay.

On this special day, she was also joined by two of her daughters, Beatrice Lewis and Doris Kooyman – another daughter, Sylvia Rocha, who lives in Escalon, was unable to make it to the luncheon gathering – along with granddaughter, Carol Campbell, great-granddaughter Stacy Avila, and Sister Ann Venita Britto and Lolita Rilcopiro from the parish.

Known simply as “grandma” to many, Vierra was born on Sept. 28, 1905 in San Jose.

The U.S. President was Teddy Roosevelt and industrialist Henry Ford was still a few years shy of introducing the Model T to the public.

Vierra was a young girl when her family moved to Tracy.

“She enjoys telling people that she came (to Tracy) on horse and buggy,” Avila said.

When Vierra turned 100, the family had a big celebration, renting out the golf course to mark the special occasion.

Her other birthdays since have been held at restaurants such as Chili’s with a few close friends and family.

Vierra splits time at the nearby homes of Lewis and Kooyman, her two daughters, and still manages to attend many of the family gatherings.

“She gets a lot of company,” Lewis said.

Included is Sister Ann, who stops by regularly to administer the Eucharist or Holy Communion, a Blessed Sacrament of her religious faith.

“She looks forward to Sister Ann’s visits,” said Lewis.

For her age, Vierra is active both mentally and physically.

The family is blessed to still have grandma in their lives.