Ex-Chicago Heights man turns 105
Cosmo Marlini looks at a cake made for his birthday with his niece, Paulette Dyrda, of Chicago Heights, at the Village Woods Christian Retirement Community in Crete. Nearly 100 residents and staff sang "Happy Birthday" to Cosmo as he walked into the facility' lower level banquet hall. Marlini, who was born the same year the Cubs last won a World Series, was a furniture upholsterer by trade, and celebrated his 105th birthday Wednesday. He was one of eight children, and grew up in Chicago Heights, served in World War II, and married his wife, Dina, in 1949. He wanted to wait until he had enough money to marry, said his stepdaughter, Genevieve Johnson, of Chicago Heights. "You ask him what's his secret (to living long), and he says he keeps away from women," she said smiling. Cosmos' brother Danny, his only other sibling still living, resides in Hollywood, Fla. He turned 106-years old in March. The village held a party for Cosmo complete with a huge cake decorated with a photograph of Cosmo from his military service days, and nearly 200 cubcakes arranged to spell 105. Nearly 100 residents, some who dropped cards for Cosmo in a basket as they entered the banquet hall, sat at 10 tables decorated with centerpieces featuring three-sided transparent picture frames that held more recent photographs of Cosmo. Sharon Pushkar, the life enrichment director at Village Woods, opened the festivities with a list of events that occurred in 1908, inlcuding the Cubs' World Series achievement.