NEWS

What’s Henry’s longevity secret?

Cranston veteran is 108 going on 109

Warwick Beacon ·

Cranston Mayor Kenneth Hopkins makes it a point to personally visit any city residents who are 100 years old — or older. He always brings a proclamation, the city’s best wishes, and a question: What’s your secret to longevity?

He was particularly interested in the answer last week when he stopped by the home of 108-year-old World War II veteran, Henry Polichetti, the oldest veteran in the Ocean State. Henry, who wasn’t giving away any secrets, simply cited “good living and moderation” as to what keeps him going.

He lives with family in the Glen Woods area, reads the New York Times and Wall Street Journal every day, loves to talk politics, and getting visits from his great-grandson, Thomas Henry, who lives nearby.

“The honor is mine,” Hopkins said as he sat at the family’s kitchen table and listed to Henry tell stories of being a U.S. Navy radio instructor during the war and also share reminiscences of growing up on Federal Hill during the hardscrabble times of the Great Depression.

Henry will turn 109 on July 3rd. “Almost a Fourth of July baby,” he said with a smile.

Henry’s parents came from Italy and he described how he and his two brothers and two sisters were a close-knit family. After he returned home from the war, he met Eleanor Fazzi from Cranston, and the two starred in a love story that lasted 62 years until Eleanor passed away in 2009. He has two daughters, Eleanor Emby and Barbara Polichetti, both of Cranston.

Hopkins shared some of his own family stories with Henry, but said he mostly wanted to thank him for his contribution to his country for being part of the Cranston community for so long .

“We appreciate you,” he said.

His family appreciates him too – he’s our dad.

Editor’s Note: This story and accompanying photos were submitted by family of Henry Polichetti, of Cranston, Rhode Island’s oldest living veteran.

age, longevity, Henry
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