Arnestine Pat Urban celebrates her  101st birthday Oct. 4 with a party at her retirement home in Utica. Urban, a  Detroit Tigers fan, was born on Oct. 3, 1918, in Franklin, Kansas, and currently lives at Northpoint Village of Utica.

Arnestine Pat Urban celebrates her 101st birthday Oct. 4 with a party at her retirement home in Utica. Urban, a Detroit Tigers fan, was born on Oct. 3, 1918, in Franklin, Kansas, and currently lives at Northpoint Village of Utica.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Utica woman celebrates 101st birthday

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 14, 2019

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UTICA — One hundred years is a long time for sure, an entire century, but how about 101 years?

A Utica woman recently celebrated her 101st birthday with a birthday party at her retirement home in Utica.

Arnestine Pat Urban was born on Oct. 3, 1918, in Franklin, Kansas. Her parents were both born in Italy.

She had four brothers and two sisters. Josephine was the oldest sibling, who died at the age of 98. Bruno was the second-oldest and died at the age of 92. Frank (Bud or Frankie) was the third-oldest and died at 101, just one month shy of 102 this year. Anita was the fourth-oldest and died in her 50s. Lena was the fifth-oldest and died at 92.

“Arnie” is the last sibling alive, celebrating 101 years of life.

Urban currently lives at Northpoint Village of Utica, where she has been for six years and loves it. She has made many friends, and her birthday party was held at Northpoint Village of Utica the morning of Oct. 4.

Utica Mayor Thom Dionne and Police Chief Sean Coady visited Urban during her party.

Dionne presented Urban with a certificate of recognition acknowledging her 101st birthday.

“I was very honored to be able to present Arnestine with a birthday memento on behalf of the city. It was a very special occasion, and I am very thankful for the kind invite. When I asked Arnie the key to longevity, she told me, ‘Be kind to people, and hug your neighbor.’ This kind of advice is timeless and always holds true regardless of which decade you were born in,” said Dionne.

Urban loves to help people, and give and get hugs. Every holiday, Urban decorates her walker. Many other residents have followed her lead.

Urban came from a little town and said her family was poor.

She said she remembers that all her siblings would talk at the same time and tease each other.

“We used to play jacks for fun,” she said via an email interview.

She said she has had a good life and is happy where she’s at now. She said that Utica has everything she needs.

“I’ve had a wonderful life. We didn’t have a lot of money and always helped each other,” she said.

Urban worked at Burroughs Adding Machine Co. in downtown Detroit for more 20 years. She also helped build homes, cut down trees, ran a cement mixer and more.

She also helped her nephew, David, build a house in Grand Blanc while she lived in Redford.

She said it was a long haul, but she enjoyed helping him since he worked for General Motors and moved a lot.

Urban shared how she met her husband many years ago.

She said that she had a meeting for her work at Burroughs Adding Machine Co. in Mexico, and while at the hotel, she was having trouble getting her luggage open in her hotel room, so she asked the man from across the hall to help her. The man had to help her several times, she said.

She married this man, Russell Urban, at 50 years old. He was from Detroit and had served in the Army. They were married for 25 years and honeymooned in Bermuda. He had been married before but had no children. He passed away in 1994.

Urban said she has eight nieces and nephews, including one who died.

“I can’t believe I’m 101, take no medications and very healthy,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to turning 102; I hope I make it,” she said.

Urban said she loves the Detroit Tigers and never misses a game.

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