LACEY – Veronica Fiore has seen a lot in her centennial of life including a global pandemic. That health crisis, however, wasn’t about to prevent her family from helping her celebrate her recent milestone birthday.
A drive thru parade was recently held at the Lacey home of her daughter Clare Fiore. Fiore joined her mom as cars bearing banners, balloons and signs passed by wishing her a wonderful birthday. The event provided three generations of the family to come together as Fiore’s daughter was also present.
Fiore said Veronica “was very strict as a mother. She didn’t allow her daughters to date until they were 17, and even then, only with supervision. She was always in motion, nicknamed ‘The Energizer Bunny.’ Her house was always spotlessly clean, dinner was always ready on time, and everything always in its proper place.”
“In her spare time, Veronica crocheted and sewed clothing for her children and relatives. There wasn’t a baby in the family that did not have a blanket made by her. Veronica lived through the women’s liberation movement and has seen everything from the flappers of the 20s, to the first women being allowed to serve in the military, up to today (quite literally a century’s worth of events),” Fiore said.
During her teenage years Veronica experienced the hardships of the Great Depression. Her family was only able to eat meat once a week and took in boarders in order to try to make ends meet. Veronica got married during World War II. Her husband, Nicholas Fiore, who she married in 1943, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a B-17 bomber crewman.
Her husband flew numerous combat missions over Europe during the war, leaving Veronica at home for the first years of their marriage. They were married for 69 years before he died 2012. They had two daughters.
Veronica remarked that she has loved crocheting her entire life, and still does it today. She also enjoys cooking and baking for her family, and spending lots of quality time with them. Veronica noted her favorite presidents were “FDR and Harry Truman. I was definitely surprised by the drive by celebration.”
Her granddaughter Zoe Kimbell-Tompkins said, “we had told her a couple people were stopping by to say happy birthday, so she definitely wasn’t expecting the amount of people that showed up. Despite the cold weather, she had a wonderful time and enjoyed seeing her family and friends, even if it was only for a minute or two.”
“Veronica was born in New Brunswick moved to Waretown almost 23 years ago, when my parents adopted me from China. She moved from Somerset so she could be closer to my mom and I. She was happy to be in Waretown because she finally had a house with a big kitchen and a big backyard, she could entertain her family and friends in,” her granddaughter said.
Veronica said the first moon landing was a very significant event for her, “I never thought I’d see space travel within my lifetime.” She added, another very important event for her was the end of World War II, which brought her husband back home to her.
Her granddaughter noted that during of her grandmother’s lifetime the role of women and their rights had changed dramatically. “As a kid, I was the stereotypical theater nerd. I spent all of my free time listening to musicals with my friends, my extracurriculars were only related to my school’s drama club, I hated gym class and was not even remotely athletic, so mom and grand mom were definitely surprised when I told them I was joining the Army.”
“Once the initial shock wore off in about two minutes, they were exceptionally vocal about all the reasons I shouldn’t be in the military. Seeing as the last person that had served in the military was my grandfather, the only information they had about what it was like to serve was from World War II,” Kimbell-Tompkins added.
“They were very concerned for my well-being. The process was definitely hard on all of us, for the past 18 years it had just been the three of us. I had never been away from home for longer than a week and my mom and grand mom were used to seeing me on a daily basis.”
“After a lot of conversations, arguments, and tears, they slowly started to come around, and by the time I shipped out to basic training, they were insanely supportive. It’s still a challenge though on all of us, even after five years,” she added.
“Whenever I call home, grand mom always asks when I’m coming home, which is a really hard question to answer because it’s hard for me to get home as often as I’d like. As hard as this has been on them, both her and my mom have been so strong and exceptionally supportive of me. She is very family oriented,” Zoe Kimbell-Tompkins added.
Zoe Kimbell-Tompkins who is currently stationed at San Antonio, Texas said she was glad she was able to make it to the celebration. She said her mother and grandmother “have all of my photos in uniform all around the house, and grand mom salutes them every time she passes them. I can honestly say I’m insanely fortunate to have them in my corner.”