Northborough’s Dorothy Senecal celebrates her 100th birthday


Northborough’s Dorothy Senecal celebrates her 100th birthday
Dorothy Senecal chats with her great-granddaughter, Evelyn, at the party marking Senecal’s 100th birthday. Photo/Bill Gilman

SHREWSBURY – It’s common knowledge that those born between 1900 and 1925 comprise “The Greatest Generation.” But if Dorothy Alberta Hurd Senecal is any example, it is also the toughest generation.

On Saturday, April 1, friends and family gathered at Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to help Senecal celebrate her 100th birthday. The party featured gifts, cake, a mountain of birthday cards and citations from numerous elected officials.

But what made the celebration truly amazing was what Senecal fought through to be there to enjoy it.

In her life, Senecal has survived two rounds of COVID-19, as well winning a battle with colon cancer. She has also lived through a hip replacement, glaucoma and macular degeneration, the death of her husband, the death of two infant grandchildren.

Senecal grew up one of three children of Edith and Fred Hurd. Longevity is in her DNA. Her father lived to 92, and her older sister, Marjorie, lived to 95.

During World War II, Senecal volunteered as a “Gray Lady” at Rutland Hospital, helping tend to the needs of soldiers returning from the war.

In 1955, she and her husband Roland Senecal settled in Northborough, where she lived for more that 60 years. The couple had two children, six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. In addition to her dedication to her family, Senecal has had a lifelong love of animals. In fact, she has rescued dozens of animals during her life, including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, snakes and birds.

Today, due to being legally blind and confined to a wheelchair, Senecal resides at Shrewsbury Nursing and Rehab, where she keeps the staff entertained with her razor-sharp wit. But she maintains her home in Northborough, and she is still a registered voter of the town.

The secret to her longevity and happy life?

“Having the family that I have,” said Senecal. “That is the big thing. My mother, father, sister and brother. And I’m just sorry they aren’t all here today.”

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