MOUNT VERNON – Westchester County Executive George Latimer returned to his Mount Vernon hometown to celebrate and recognize the 107th birthday of Rosalie Cream, who is the eldest resident of Wartburg Nursing Home.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “I am moved to be able to join Mrs. Cream along with so many of her friends and family to personally extend birthday greetings on this 107th celebration of her life, spirit and remarkable journey that has led her here.
From horse drawn sleighs, to 25 years of service to the New York Public Library, and decades of advocacy for not only women’s rights, but the rights of all people, Mrs. Cream is a living inspiration to us all.”
About Rosalie Cream
Born Jan. 19, 1916, longevity runs in the family of Rosalie Cream with both her mother and brother having reached the age of 103.
Rosalie Cream was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey and lived with her family on her grandparent’s dairy farm and then moved to Mountaindale, New York where her grandmother and mother had a small Catskill hotel before moving one more time, this time to the Hunts Point Section of the Bronx with her mother and siblings where she met her future husband.
She was married to Alex Cream for sixty-four years and is the proud mother of Leslie (David), grandmother of Lauren (Rickey), Joshua (Angie) and Daniel and great-grandmother of Alexia, Benjamin and Sasha. Known as Roro, these three great-grandchildren are the love of her life.
Cream started reading at the age of four and has not stopped yet! In those early formative years, she would read the encyclopedia and dictionary just for fun. She was employed by the New York Public Library for 25 years and worked in the Parkchester Branch and the Fordham Road Branch Children’s Room, where she was often addressed as the “library lady” by the youth of the neighborhood. These young New Yorkers, sometimes of questionable repute, watched out for her and even protected her from shots being fired as she walked the streets of Fordham Road one day during her lunch hour.
While never getting her driver’s license, when Rosalie was a young woman she saved money to learn how to become a pilot – a dream that unfortunately was never realized – but once unwittingly was surprised by a pilot friend who took her barnstorming in a two-seater plane. And she was also an air raid warden in The Bronx during World War Two having attended training at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
Her indomitable spirit, and her thirst for knowledge was a guiding force that defined her life as she was a strong advocate not only for women’s rights but the rights of all people.
During these many decades, Rosalie Cream lived life to its fullest from her early school years traveling to school in a horse drawn sleigh, to living in the swampy regions of Savannah, Georgia so she could be near her soldier husband, traveling down by train from New York to Georgia on ration coupons, to jumping off that train in the middle of the night at what was supposed to be the pre-arranged spot to meet her husband and turned out to be the woods. Yes, he eventually found her, but it was quite an adventure. As life continued, there were many distant trips and nearby adventures and nothing could stop Rosalie Cream.
She instilled in her family qualities that are to be admired and has left a lasting impression on all of us as we continue to see that spirit still shining through.