Virginia Poletti of Rockland celebrated her 100th birthday with a family party Saturday, Dec. 4 at the Offshore Restaurant in Rockport. A special guest was Sen. Chris Rector, R-Thomaston, who presented Poletti with a proclamation from the Maine State Legislature marking the event. She also received birthday greetings from President and Mrs. Obama.

Poletti was born Dec. 7, 1910, in the Dutch Neck village of Waldoboro, the daughter of the Rev. Herman R. and Carrie B. Winchenbaugh. She moved to Rockland with her parents and eight siblings at a young age where she attended school at the one-room school on Benner Hill. She graduated in 1929 from Rockland High School and worked as a secretary for the M. B. Perry Coal Company for a number of years. She met her future husband, Constantine Poletti, during World War II when he was stationed in Rockland with the U. S. Navy. They were married in 1944 in Miami, Fla. She traveled with her husband to several military bases in the United States where she worked as secretary for some of the military commanders. Following the war, the couple settled in Massachusetts where they spent their working days, and then retiring to Florida. During their retirement years, they frequently went on cruises, 21 in all, to many parts of the world. They maintained their connection to Maine, spending summers at their cottage in Spruce Head.

Following her husband’s death in 1990, Poletti continued to reside in Florida during the winters and Spruce Head in the summers. She moved to Rockland in 2008 where she resides at the Bartlett Woods assisted living facility.

Ted and Natalie Sylvester of Owls Head and Kay Sylvester of Thomaston hosted the family party. Donald and Elyse Gray of Orrington provided a beautifully decorated birthday cake, depicting the themes of a cruse ship, palm trees of Florida, and a lighthouse of Maine. Others attending were: Brenda Peabody, son Jonathan and daughter Jillian of Somerville, N. J., Bette Bergeron of Edwardsville, Ill., Jacob and Linda Sylvester and daughter Alison of Gardner, Mass., Scott Sylvester of Rockland, Steven and Barbara Sylvester and daughter Danielle of Rockport. Stuart Sylvester of Owls Head, Brian Sylvester of Thomaston and Haydn Deal of Westbrook.

The celebration of Polettiā€™s birthday continued on Tuesday, Dec. 7, with a party held in her honor by the residents and staff of Bartlett Woods, and on Wednesday, Dec. 8, Willard Scott recognized Poletti on the nationally televised Today Show.