Friends and Family Celebrate 100-Year-Old Woman's Birthday With Drive-Thru Parade in Easton

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Friends and family came out to celebrate 100-year-old Anne Fiyalka's birthday with a drive-thru parade in Easton on Monday.

"I feel so honored by all of these people that are coming to wish me a happy birthday," Fiyalka said.

Before the pandemic, Fiyalka always kept busy with work and activities.

"Before the pandemic, my calendar had something to do every day. I went to the Easton Senior Center for exercise twice a week, I went to the Easton Center for movies, I went bowling every Wednesday, Friday I went to the senior center and I took my weaving class and I have woven rugs for my grandsons out of their old jeans," Fiyalka said.

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"I would call her and say 'how's it going mom?' and she would say 'I gotta go.' She was always going somewhere," said Fiyalka's daughter Andrea Bouchard.

Bouchard lives in Cape Coral, Florida, but came up to Connecticut to celebrate her mother's 100th birthday.

Even with the pandemic, Fiyalka said she has found ways to keep busy at home.

"Even with the pandemic, I'm never bored because I play scrabble on the computer and I have a jigsaw puzzle on my dining room table and I have good books to read and I'm still chief cook and bottle washer. And the next thing I know, it's time for bed so the time goes by quickly," she said.

Fiyalka said COVID-19 is one of the worst things she has ever had to go through.

"She has said to me that she'd never thought she would live through anything like this," said Bouchard.

As for how she remains so healthy at her age, she has a few tips.

"I never smoked and the second thing is that you should keep active. You have to keep your mind active and your body active," Fiyalka said.

"She has been active her entire life. I mean, she retired at 65, she didn't want to retire, the business closed," Bouchard said. "After that, she did Meals on Wheels, she volunteered at the senior center, anywhere she could volunteer, she did it. She had old friends that were even younger than her that had disabilities and she would go to the grocery store and shop for them."

Fiyalka even had the chance to meet Amelia Earhart when she attended school in Bridgeport.

"She was an honor student and Amelia Earhart came to the school and asked for three honor students to join her on the plane. So my mom was one of those three chosen," Bouchard said.

"It's incredible, I'm so proud of her. I lost my father when I was young and God has blessed me with her for such a long time, I just can't be thankful enough," Bouchard said. "I am totally blown away. I knew my mom was popular in this town but I never knew it was to this extent."

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