At 102, Lucie Cassista is living life to the fullest Feisty senior knits blankets to keep busy, plays Wii games and loves Bingo MADELEINE LECLERC THE VICTORIA STAR May 7, 2014

Lucie Cassista, 102, is shown as she crochets a blanket for one of her younger relatives. PHOTO: MADELEINE LECLERC/THE VICTORIA STAR
Lucie Cassista, who recently celebrated her 102nd birthday, is living proof that age is no barrier to enjoying every day to its fullest.
Cassista lives at the Mont Assomption senior living facility in the St. André Rural Community.
“Life is beautiful. In 102 years, you see beautiful things. I am followed by five generations,”Cassista said.
A week after her birthday, Cassista was scratching lottery tickets she received during the celebration. She said that if she won a jackpot, it would be divided among her children and her niece Linda Pelletier, who accompanies her on shopping trips. Cassista only uses her walker outside her room as a backup.
“I had four brothers and two sisters. I am the only one left from my immediate family. I lost my only living sister five years ago. She was 91 years old. My brothers all died young. One died at the age 80 while the others were in their 70s. I had nine children. I lost a son who drowned when he was four. That was hard to get over. I lost another son four years ago to lung cancer. I have three sons and four girls left. Only two of my daughters could not be here to celebrate my birthday with me. One lives in Toronto and stayed there to celebrate her daughter’s birthday and the other is taking treatments,”Cassista said.
“I got married Dec. 26, 1939. My husband, Eddy Cassista, passed away 28 years ago. He worked hard too as a house mover. This was a big job. People do not have the health we had. We worked hard,”she said.
Cassista is living proof that one is only as old as one feels inside. She clearly remembers events that occurred when she was three years old.

“I had gone to where my father was clearing land to get the ground ready for planting. I clearly remember falling and coming close to being trampled by the horses. I remember my father bringing me back home and telling my mother that I could not go outside alone,”she said.
“My father was not happy, but he never hit me. I raised my children without hitting them,”stated Cassista.
She said that she knows of no recipe for longevity. Even today, Cassista rises from her bed between 5 and 5:30 a.m. After breakfast and having dressed, she knits and keeps busy rather than sit all day doing nothing.
“Working and being among people is living. We are not alone. I worked like a man. I had a big accident and I returned to work after. I was “tough” at work. I finished the trim around the windows of my house and people thought it was a worker who had the job.Women are also capable. I knew how to manage. I was a cook in work camps. It’s not easy raising children. After my children were married, I worked for McCain’s,”she said.
Although she appreciates the technological advances that help to facilitate and shorten tasks such as washing machines and electric sewing machines, she is not attached to a television. As is the case with a radio, she turns on the television more for the background noise while she works.
She said that she had a cousin on her mother’s side who lived up to 107 years. She treasures newspaper clippings of the event. Her dearest moments from her childhood are when she and her siblings built snow huts.
“She continues to be very active with weekly outings. She knits blankets to keep busy. On Wednesdays, she reminds the other residents that it’s Bingo day. She also loves to play interactive games with the Wii. She plays bowling and wins all the games. A year ago, she decided that there was no more time in her schedule for her daily walk so she stopped. That was until her doctor prescribed a daily walk. Now, nothing stops her,”said Cassista’s daughter-in-law Cécile Cassista, who lives in Riverview.