Being active, spending time with loved ones, and eating “very good Italian food” are the keys to a long and happy life, according to 100-year-old Frances Lopresto.
The Astoria resident celebrated a century of birthdays on Saturday together with longtime friends, local politicians and four generations of family members at Il Bacco restaurant in Little Neck.
“It made me feel real young,” said Lopresto, who was dancing the night away in her wheelchair just a day shy of her 100th birthday, according to her family.
Along with being involved for more than 30 years in the real estate and insurance business with her husband of 50 years, Charles, who passed away in 1984, Lopresto was active in civic, religious, charitable and political organizations.
“I felt that reading the newspaper and meeting different people made me feel good and I continued to be better and bigger each time,” Lopresto said.
She held positions in parent-teacher associations of schools that her children attended and was a member of the Astoria Civic Association as well as the board of directors of the United Community Civic Association of Jackson Heights.
The mother of four was also a member of and helped raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Astoria/Long Island City and Saint Rita’s Roman Catholic Church’s Guidance for Unwed Mothers. She is still an active member of the LIC Lions Club.
“She juggled very well because it was things she loved to do, you have to like things to achieve and go forward,” said her daughter, Angela, who followed in her mother’s footsteps in real estate. “She achieved much and people recognize that and that’s what is nice about it. She had a very busy and active life.”
Lopresto was also vice-chairwoman of the Queens County Republican County Committee from 1974 to 1980.
Although she is currently physically limited from participating in many activities, Lopresto still enjoys remaining active by taking strolls down Ditmars Boulevard in her wheelchair and going out to eat with friends and family.
She has 12 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. One of her sons, John, is a former state assemblyman, her other son Thomas is an attorney, and her youngest son, Charles, is a sitting Supreme Court Justice working in the Queens County Criminal Court.
When asked what advice she gives others for living a long life, she said people should “keep working and eating well.”
“I came from good Sicilian blood,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed my life and I would do the same thing over again.”