At 100, ‘mentally, I’m 100% good’

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On Sept. 18, dozens of community and family members orchestrated a drive-by parade for Macura, which truly excited the birthday girl. ‘It means I’m well remembered by my family and friends,’ Macura said. (Photo by Austin Crosier)

Helen Macura on her front porch during Sunday’s birthday festivities.

A century.

Ten decades.

100 years of caring for others and radiating positivity.

Granville’s Helen Macura reached an incredible milestone on Sept. 16 as she celebrated her 100th birthday from her East Main Street home.

While she was surrounded by close friends and family as birthday cake was passed around the cards-and-flower-filled dining room, Macura was overwhelmed by the kindness of the community.

“I am very fortunate because I have a lot of great friends,” Macura said.

When summarizing Macura’s life to this point, it’s important to note her impact on others as a born-and-raised Granvillian.

Being the sixth of 13 children, Macura learned quickly how to find ways to stand out and help others as she worked at Telescope Casual Furniture Inc. when it was known as Cot Bed during World War II. Macura, to her knowledge, is the only surviving worker from Cot Bed throughout the war.

Helen Macura’s house decorated for the drive-by party with Helen waving from the front porch.

Macura went on to earn her LPN in Westchester County and her RN as a member of the first nursing class of Adirondack Community College in the 1960s. For more than 40 years, Macura worked at Glens Falls Hospital and Cambridge Hospital as a med nurse, with the last few years centered around nursing homes.

Macura recalls looking after family and friends with medical and social concerns, including Dr. Rice of Cambridge when he was ill.

“God gave me the privilege to go into my nursing career to go in and help others,” Macura said.

Although she retired more than 30 years ago, Sandy Bradway, a close friend and current helper to Macura, said Macura is a special person in her life and is uniquely her own.

“She’s opinionated. She’s not afraid to tell you what she thinks,” Bradway said. “She’ll give you the shirt off her back.”

Macura has been active in community organizations throughout her time in Granville, including the Catholic Daughters, American Legion and VFW auxiliaries.

A stroke roughly four years ago that left Macura hearing impaired and crippling sciatica in her left leg has limited Macura’s mobility despite only giving up driving at the age of 91.

A birthday greeting for Helen Macura’s 100th birthday from the Cook family.

Humbly, Macura said she is able to get by at her age with the assistance of the Granville Rescue Squad and Granville Police Department whenever she needs a helping hand.

Even when the “Batwoman” calls about the night creatures flying around her home, the agencies are willing to check on Macura’s health and well-being.

“Mentally, I’m 100% good!” she said.

Nowadays, Macura enjoys writing columns for the Granville Sentinel, doing puzzles and watching her favorites of “Bonanza” and “Gunsmoke” along with staying in touch with current news such as the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The parade of cars went from the firehouse across from Veterans Memorial Park all the way past Helen’s house where it looped around at the bank and almost back to the firehouse.

However, Macura said she is eternally grateful for those who care about her and wants to share her earnings and treasures with them. She shared advice with the public, saying to “live life each day truthfully.”

When asked what 100 years of life meant to her, Macura surprisingly said that she wouldn’t wish it on anyone as it’s a “rough road” that she experienced her sister Mary go through prior to her death at 100 years and six months.

“Every dollar would go to help somebody,” Macura said if she were to win the lottery.

On Sept. 18, dozens of community and family members orchestrated a drive-by parade for Macura, which truly excited the birthday girl.

“It means I’m well remembered by my family and friends,” Macura said.