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Family and friends will come from near and far to help Annzi Rossi celebrate her 100th birthday on next Sunday, March 24.
Anzzi, whose full name is Annunziata, was born March 25, 1913, in Segunde, Colo., to Italian immigrants Giovanni and Giovanna Rossi.
Among those who will celebrate with her at St. John's Catholic Church from 1-4 p.m. are two family members from Italy and five from eastern Canada. Friends from a lifetime of work in and around her Pingree home are also welceome.
Her parents returned to Italy with all five of their children in 1919. Annzi married Tommaso Rossi, the eldest of six children in 1935. Soon after they married Tommaso's parents died, leaving them responsible for his five siblings.
Following World War II the family began the process of returning to the United States. Although Annzi was born in the U.S. she had lost her citizenship because she had voted in a foreign election.
Their son Marion came to America with his cousin in May of 1951, sponsored by his uncle John De Guilio. She and her daughter Carmina arrived in Pingree in December of that year. Tommaso wasn't able to come until 1953.
The family rented a farm from Uncle John for five years before buying their own land. They eventually built their own home where Annzi still lives.
"They initially raised potatoes, then for many years worked endless hours milking 50 cows with no outside help," Carmina wrote. Eventually they raised beef cattle and leased the farm to others.
The couple was married 72 years before he died in 2007.
Annzi has four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Among her best memories, Annzi said, "is when I knew I could come back to America."
"They came because they could have a better life than at that particular time in Italy," her son Marion said. "They came back for economic reasons and for better opportunities for the family."
Another of Annzi's enduring memories, she said, is of learning from co-workers at the potato cellar in Pingree and at Simplot's in Aberdeen.
"I no go to school," she said. "I learned with the people I work with."
Of her secrets for a long life, she said, "I just work hard and keep going.
"I'm proud of my children and grandchildren," she said. "We worked hard and I'm glad of what we did."
Carmina wrote on her mother's announcement, "Our mother has been blessed with good health, family, friends and caring people in her life.
"Also," Carmina continued, "her Catholic faith has helped her get through the difficult times."