West Kendall

Six at Palace Suites celebrate turning 100 years — and beyond

Phyllis Deutsch, 102, attends a centennial party at the Palace Suites in Kendall on April 30, 2016. Deutsch was one of the honorees at the party, which celebrated a handful of guests being over 100 years old.
Phyllis Deutsch, 102, attends a centennial party at the Palace Suites in Kendall on April 30, 2016. Deutsch was one of the honorees at the party, which celebrated a handful of guests being over 100 years old. mocner@miamiherald.com

She wore a feather boa, her best flapper-style fashion, painted her nails red and danced to music of the 1920s, a time she lived in as a young woman in her 20s.

Now, at the ripe age of 103, Marian Rovics still remembered the words to famous songs of the ’20s and ‘30s as she sang along to Has Anybody Seen My Gal? and Pennies from Heaven during a birthday celebration April 30 at the Palace Suites, an independent-living apartment building for seniors.

“I’ve been dancing since I was 14 years old,” said Rovics. “My brother taught me and I loved it since then.”

In addition to Rovics, Phyllis Deutsch, Erika Newman, Bea Rosen, Al Fishman and Mildred Weiss also celebrated being 100 years old and beyond.

Host Via Butler introduced the party’s ‘Roaring 20s’ theme by listing a number of events and inventions the centennials lived through, including: World War I, Great Depression, creation of the state of Israel, the rise and fall of communism, prohibition, sexual revolution, air conditioning, birth control pills and dialysis.

“Imagine living through all of this,” said Butler, director of entertainment. “I’m tired already just talking about it.”

The party included a family happy hour and live entertainment, which featured a singer who performed songs from the ‘20s. At the end, there was a cake cutting celebration in which guests and employees sang Happy Birthday to the honorees.

“I am lucky, I have had rough times but no one has a free ride,” said Rovics.

Some of those tough times include losing her siblings, her husband and the sight in her left eye during a tennis match.

“I played recreational tennis with a group … It was such a nice group of boys and girls,” she said.

The girls were called the racquettes and boys were called racquetteers.

Rovics played tennis until she was 80. During one of her matches, she fell. Her glasses severely injured her left eye, causing her to lose sight in it.

“I don’t think about the bad times, I only think about the good ones,” she said.

Some of the good times include going to a speakeasy as a 16-year-old with a guy she liked.

Her daughter, Bonnie Aberson, “is amazing, she said. “She’s a psychologist and still practices at 70.”

“It’s all about your attitude, have a good attitude,” Rovics said.

Butler said Rovics attends most of the activities at The Palace and is very good at bingo.

“We have about 108 hours of activity per week, up to 52 shows a month and up to six major events per month,” said Butler. “Our centennials rarely miss events.”

Weiss attends meditation twice a week, Tai Chi (exercise), Spanish class once a month and participates in blackjack and brain teasers.

She turns 103 on June 5.

“I’ve always chosen the right things, they just always turn out right,” said Weiss. “To live this long … I’m very lucky.”

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