Current and former members of the Advisory Board for the Easton Senior Center recently honored Anne Fiyalka for nearly three decades of service. Anne, 101, chose not to serve another term on the board.
A reception was held at the Senior Center on June 14. The room was resplendent with purple flowers, purple tablecloths, purple balloons, and a purple crown and boa for the guest of honor. You may have guessed that purple is Anne’s favorite color.
First Selectman David Bindelglass presented Anne with a citation from the town. State Rep. Anne Hughes and State Senator Tony Hwang gave her State of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation.
Cheryl Constand, a former Advisory Board member, longtime volunteer at the Senior Center, and Anne’s friend and neighbor, spoke about Anne’s amazing life and accomplishments. Excerpts follow:
“During her past 101 years, Anne has been a busy lady,” Constand said. “Wife, loving mother of four, grandmother, original member of the Easton Senior Center and longtime coordinator of volunteers, active member of Notre Dame Church of Easton, a lector, Eucharistic minister, the recipient of the prestigious St. Augustine Medal of Service from the Bishop, a Girl Scout leader, active in the Easton Democratic Party, and for many years worked at the polls on election day, greeting everyone with her wonderful smile. She is a popular speaker at Samuel Staples kindergarten classes and recently spoke to students at Iona College about the worth of women.
“Until her 99th birthday you would find her at the Nutmeg Bowling Alley, where she bowled weekly with friends. At 99 she bowled a turkey. If you are not familiar with that, it is three strikes in a row! Amazing Anne loves word games and is a fearsome Scrabble player and I have the bruised ego to show for it.
“She loves the newest word game Wordle, and 300-piece puzzles. But I would be remiss if I did not mention Anne’s extraordinary claim to fame. When she was a senior at Harding High School in Bridgeport, she, along with two other students who had achieved perfect grades and attendance for four years, were chosen to fly around the area with trendsetting pilot extraordinaire Amelia Earhart. This would be the beginning of Anne’s long legacy of an honor not many have.
“Throughout these many years Anne has been blessed with, we are equally blessed to have her in our midst. So here’s to a woman who guides and inspires by living her own good example. Who accepts both victories and disappointments with the same grace and rises above life’s challenges with grace and moves on. Here’s to a woman who shows her caring with a word of support, her understanding with a smile. A woman who brings joy to others just by being herself.”
If you want to learn more about amazing Fiyalka, Google her and you will find several interesting articles and videos, Constand said. Here are links to some of those stories:
Photo at top: Anne Fiyalka is honored by the Easton Senior Center Advisory Board. Celebrating the festivities are state Rep. Anne Hughes, First Selectman David Bindelglass, state Senator Tony Hwang and Senior Center Director Val Buckley. — Shannon Calvert Photo