By Sue Ellen Woodcock
Gilda Ausiello has found the secret to making it to 100 years old is dancing. A passion that she loves to do at the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center.
On top of that exeercise, she takes no medications and was featured this past spring on WCVB in the Wellderlies (people age 90 and over) segment, “Why sit back when you don’t have to.” In addition, researchers have found that connections to family, friends and community could be the answer to living longer and healthier.
Ausiello, who was born on May 17, 1917, joins a growing number of people who have lived to be 100 years old.
Recently visited by her niece Susan Morrison and her great nephew Matt Morrison, Ausiello shared her stories about growing up in a big Revere family that included hanging out at Revere Beach to joining the line dancing group at the Revere Senior Center. Then there’s bocce, something she plays at the senior center and has throughout her life.
“At my age, I guess you’re just supposed to sit back and relax. But why sit back when you don’t have to,” Ausiello asked, adding that she is the captain of her bocce team
“When I was a kid we played at Revere Beach. We’d get a hamburger or a hot dog, frankfurts as we called them,” said Ausiello, who was born and raised in Revere. “Late at night we’d sit on the sand on a hot night before air conditioning.”
Ausiello also danced ballet as a kid, something she credits with her love of dance today.
She and her late husband Hugo were married at St. Anthony’s, and have a son Dennis, a doctor She is now a grandmother to two grandsons, John and Jeff and four great-grandchildren, Alex, Catherine, Mia and Lucy.
Before retirement, she worked for 25 years at the First National Bank of Boston in the consumer department.
“Hugo died in 1984, he was a furniture designer,” Ausiello said. “He was always happy, easy going and kind.”
Ausiello is musically inclined and is proud of her violin playing as a student in the Revere High School band.
“Everyone in my family was musicial. My father was a concert pianist who loved opera,” she explained.
In fact, every child in the family was named from an opera. She recalled her siblings having their names come from the opera, Aida, Amy, Alfredo and Lena. Gilda herself is named from a character in the opera “Rigoletto.”
Ausiello keeps herself busy with lunch at the senior center, watching television and going to the hairdresser every Saturday.
“That I can’t give up,” she chuckles about her hair. “I have younger friends to go out to a restaurant with.”
Ausiello is also proud of the citations she received for her birthday, one from State Rep. Roselee Vincent, State Sen. Joe Boncore and the Massachusetts Federation of Women’s Clubs.