Lifelong Shrewsbury resident marks 100 years with week-long celebration


Lifelong Shrewsbury resident marks 100 years with week-long celebration
Doris Paolini with her extended family

By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – “I’ve had a full life,” reflected Doris Paolini, lifelong resident of Shrewsbury who marked her 100th birthday Aug. 25.

Paolini is still very sharp and social with a quick wit and great memory. She recently enjoyed the company of her daughter Nancy and son-in-law Joe at Southgate where she resides.

Because of current restrictions, she will not be able to have a party. As such, the mother of three and “Meme” to eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, will receive visits, two family members at a time, throughout the week.

Born Doris Meunier, one of eight children – seven girls and one boy, she grew up near Lake Quinsigamond. She attended Coolidge Elementary School.

“I never did go to high school because my father did not believe that girls needed to go to high school,” she remarked.

However, she eventually received her diploma.

She married Alfred Abair when she was 18, and they had had three children; Judy, Robert and Nancy. They were happily married for 35 years until his passing.

“Eleven years later I got married to a nice fella that I met at a dance. He was terrific and my children loved him,” she said. His name was Seraphino “Fifi” Paolini.

They were happy together and enjoyed music and dancing. She played the piano and he played the drums.

“We were very good to each other,” she noted.

After 23 years of marriage, Fifi passed away.

Guided by her faith, she was an active parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes in Worcester and St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Shrewsbury.

She also has a passion for politics.

“Every four years don’t bother me because I like politics,” she said, noting that the night John F. Kennedy was elected she was up all night.

Throughout her lifetime she loved to sew and crochet and is known for her afghans. She enjoyed fixing people’s hair and she was a skilled baker having worked in the Shrewsbury school system after the passing of her first husband.

She also worked at Massachusetts Electric (now known as National Grid) and as a weaver at Worcester Tire and Fabric.

Nancy said that her mother used to bowl with her father and was particularly good, having won many trophies.

She reminisced about the changes she has seen, particularly technological advancements, but she noted that she thinks families should make it a priority to enjoy their evening meals together.

“I’ve had a full, rich life and I don’t regret a bit of it,” Paolini said. “I think we had the best generation.”

Lifelong Shrewsbury resident marks 100 years with week-long celebration
Doris Paolini (holding a homemade birthday card from a great grandchild) with daughter Nancy Kielbasa and her husband Joe at Southgate in Shrewsbury
Photo/Melanie Petrucci


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