In 107 years, Rose Borusovic has seen a lot | Florida News

By BREANNA A. RITTMAN, The Big Book

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Rose Borusovic was born during World War I in Czechoslovakia and moved to the United States in 1939, a year the World’s Fair opened in New York and Adolf Hitler invaded her homeland .

On Wednesday, she turned 107, the oldest resident to walk the halls of Grand Villa of Lakeland, an assisted living facility on Lakeland Hills Boulevard next to Tigertown.

“We are honored to have Rose as one of our valued residents,” said Executive Director Tyrus Hawkins. According to Grand Villa staff, Borusovic’s secret to a long life is to ‘eat well’. Her favorite hobbies are crocheting and listening to music.

Grand Villa staff declined an interview with Borusovic, saying she had difficulty speaking and hearing. But Sandra Senka, a friend of Borusovic since 1968 who lives in New York, spoke with The Ledger about Borusovic’s life.

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Borusovic was born on May 18, 1915 and came to the United States in her mid-twenties.

“I think everyone back then thought American roads were paved with gold and they just wanted a better life. It was tough in Europe at that time,” Senka said.

“I couldn’t pack my things at 20 and go to another country whose language I didn’t speak,” Senka said.

“She went there, and then she got a letter from someone she knew ‘there were a lot of jobs in New York. Why don’t you come here? “said Senka.

It was in New York that Borusovic met her husband, Steve. Borusovic was employed by a family as a housekeeper and babysitter, and Steve was a great apartment.

“I think they met in a Slovak dance club. They liked polka and they liked to dance,” Senka said.

Senka’s mother-in-law was also from Czechoslovakia and friends with Borusovic. The friends met after arriving in New York. Borusovic loved to cook and often invited the Senka family to dinner.

“My husband’s mother asked her years ago, if something happened to Rose’s husband, would we pay attention to her,” Senka said. Senka said her husband, John, often visited the Borusovics.

The Borusovics never had children but had family in Czechoslovakia. The couple moved to Lakeland when Steve retired at age 65. He died in 2004 at the age of 98, Senka said, leaving Borusovic a widow at the age of 89.

According to Senka, Borusovic was able to stay at home with home health care until he was 103 years old.

“She was a very kind and caring woman, but she could be a little fiery if she needed to,” Senka said.

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