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Parade helps celebrate 100th birthday
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Dorothy “Dottie” Boneza marked her 100th birthday on Sunday.

A caravan of cars circled along the El Rancho Mobile Home Park to the home of Dorothy “Dottie” Boneza on Sunday afternoon.

This special birthday parade consisting of about 40 vehicles along with police escort celebrated the 100th birthday of Boneza.

Her family consisting of daughters Adalia Loder – she along with her husband Dan Loder and daughter Denise Ashley helped set up the birthday decorations – and Ranielle Brazell had to cancel the original plans of a big party due to the statewide stay at home orders in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

All told, about 75 friends and family members were in attendance for Boneza’s special day. They kept their social distancing, expressing their sentiments from afar as she sat with family in front of her home.

Many came from Pleasanton, where Dottie called home for 37 years. She was the longtime cashier at Safeway on Main Street, and “knew everyone in town,” according to her daughters.

Back then, the town had a population of about 4,000. She and her husband of 53 years, Edward – he was a horse jockey, trainer and grounds keeper at Amador Valley High – called Pleasanton home until 1981. They moved to Pine Grove and, in 1989, to Manteca. Edward Boneza passed away in 2002.

As for Dottie, she’s been active in the community, organizing the “Hootenanny Group” in Manteca while playing golf and even water skiing well into her 80s.

She continues to enjoy her independence, doing her own cooking and paying bills. Not too long ago, she was still driving along with helping out at the food bank and her church.

Dottie Boneza, who was born on April 19, 1920 in Snyder, Oklahoma, moving to California in 1944.

Other members of her immediate family in attendance at this social distancing birthday included grandchildren Erick Brazell, Michael Loder and wife Cher Loder, and great grandchildren Evan Brazell, Makenna Loder and Ryan Loder.