Oldest Zagreb Citizen Celebrates 103rd Birthday!

Total Croatia News

Grandma Marija is the oldest resident in Maksimir retirement home

A very special birthday party was held recently in the Retirement home at Hegedušićeva street in Zagreb. On Thursday, 25 May, the oldest resident Marija Debelić turned 103!

Even though her hearing and sight deteriorated with age, baka (grandma) Marija kept a smile on her face throughout the day and gave an emotional speech thanking everyone who came to celebrate with her, Jutarnji reported.

Mrs Debelić had a turbulent life story. She was born during World War I which took away her father; she later married a man from her village of Banjol on Rab Island. According to her own words, her husband was a good man and worked hard as a carpenter. When WWII came along, he was taken to a concentration camp in Germany.

Even though life threw a lot of troubles her way, baka Marija persisted. She says there’s no particular secret that got her to such an old age, but she never used to smoke or drink, she eats healthy and drinks a single cup of coffee each day.

“God wanted me to live to this age. Peace, love and harmonious family relations are what every man needs most in life”, said the 103-year-old.

She’s been living in the retirement home Maksimir for seven months now, and is a beloved part of the community. She’s visited by family and friends every day, and is satisfied with her life in the home.

Retirement home director Jasminka Dlesk Božić said the secret to the residents’ longevity is the upbeat atmosphere in the home. “We have a lot of celebrations, we party all the time, we dance, sing and have fun. Our residents live long because of the happiness they carry. Of course, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, there are those other moments, but we try to create as many happy memories as we can”, she said.

There’s about 200 centenerians living in Zagreb at the moment, Marija Debelić being the oldest one. Happy birthday to baka Marija!



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