This month, Watercrest Senior Living Group was honored to celebrate the 104th birthday of Ms. Tillie Oppenheim Miller, a resident of Watercrest St. Lucie West Assisted Living and Memory Care in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
More than forty family, friends, associates and residents gathered at Watercrest St. Lucie West to shower Ms. Tillie with love, admiration and cheer on the momentous occasion. Tillie enjoyed her specially requested birthday meal of Nathan’s franks with all the trimmings, baked beans, coleslaw and a gigantic sheet cake. Tillie’s son Gary, daughter-in-law Linda, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren sang a dozen of her favorite songs as she danced with each of her grandkids with a youthful rhythm.
Born March 9th, 1919 in Brooklyn, New York, Tillie was the youngest of six children. She loved to roller-skate, play street games, and developed a life-long passion for dance, primarily ballroom and improvisational. Unfortunately, her family was economically poor and suffered throughout the entirety of the Great Depression as Tillie grew from a child to a young adult.
In 1944, Tillie married her husband of 41 years, Howard Oppenheim and they raised a family of three boys, Marvin, Gary and Sheldon. Tillie had a knack for mathematics and worked several jobs in accounting over the years, but her most important accomplishment was as a devoted mother, raising her three boys into adulthood. After the death of her first husband, Tillie was blessed to marry again, spending four years married to Henry Miller before he passed in 1988. Tragically, Tillie lost her youngest son, Sheldon, one year later in 1989.
Tillie’s lifelong love for dance carried her into the community theater where she performed in numerous productions, continuing to follow her passion well into her 90’s. She had always wanted to become a singer, but she passed those dreams along to generations following in her footsteps. Though Tillie persevered through many heartaches in her life, from the death of her loving parents, all five of her siblings, two devoted husbands and the greatest loss of her own youngest son, she is a shining example of how to seek out happiness and to embrace gratitude.
As a woman with 104 years of experience, Tillie’s advice for leading a long and fulfilling life is, “to learn something new and different every day because a day without learning is a wasted day; to always look for happiness and not dwell on the sadness; and that regardless of our own suffering, remember there are others in worse situations.”
In her later years, Tillie continued to socialize and courted noted gentlemen, Ben, Irving, and Marvin, who kept her smiling. She became a resident of Watercrest St. Lucie West last year and has adored her time building new friendships and engaging in the multitude of activities, events and amenities offered at the community. She is a living legend amongst her family and friends, most notably her four grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, with whom she sets a shining example of how to find well-deserved happiness. Party-attendees marveled at Ms. Tillie’s phenomenal spirit and zest for life as she proclaimed, “Can’t wait to do it again at 105!”
Watercrest St. Lucie West is well-known in the St. Lucie area for their outstanding commitment to community partnerships, fundraising involvement, and hosting of social events throughout the year. From their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event, to the ceremonies honoring U.S. Veterans, or the roaring Mardi Gras celebrations, the Watercrest St. Lucie West team ensures that residents, family members and guests experience engagement, interaction, recreation and culinary delight.
Conveniently located at 279 NW California Boulevard, Watercrest St. Lucie West offers 102 assisted living and 26 memory care apartments with resort-style service and breathtaking lakeside views. For more information, contact the community at 772-758-7472.