Happy Birthday, Lilyan, 101 Years Young


On March 10, the staff from the Tuttle Center at the Amsterdam at Harborside in Port Washington, along with family and friends, threw a magnificent birthday party for 101-year-old Lilyan Cantrowitz.101birthday031616A 101Birthday031616B 101Birthday031616C

Cantrowitz walked into a party room decorated for a queen, and that she was. She entered the party dressed beautifully, something she loves to do. More importantly, she walked in with such grace, gratitude and a huge smile on her face. Shekeva Issac, the coordinator for the Skilled Nursing Facilities, planned and decorated
for someone who is truly loved. Many coworkers were on hand helping and celebrating Cantrowitz.

Cantrowitz grew up in the Bronx, settled on Long Island with her family and now calls her assisted living residence at The Tuttle Center home. According to Romana Slavska, the activities manager in the Skilled Nursing Facilities, Cantrowitz enjoys the many activities available including cooking, dance therapy, art and concerts. She added, “and she loves to dress.”101birthday031616D 101birthday031616E

According to Cantrowitz, she has always loved to dance but folk dancing is her favorite. When she was 10 years old she was entered in a Charleston dance contest and won. She loves spending time with her family and said, “I have two wonderful great-grandchildren, Nathan and Hazel, they are so amazing and unusually bright.” She added that there is a third one on the way. Her daughter Ellen Cantrowitz said, “they love her so very much.”

Cantrowitz celebrated at her party in style. There was live music, a dancer and beautiful decorations of gold and blue. Staff and residents danced, sang, clapped and laughed together. Many residents, including Cantrowitz, reminisced as they sang the words to songs that were performed. There was a centerpiece decorated with pictures that told the story of a wonderful life. There were decorated champagne bottles and champagne glasses for beverages and Nardia David, a nurse on staff, made a delicious cake decorated with a picture of Cantrowitz. As the party was coming to an end, Cantrowitz sat with one of her best friends, Eileen, and graciously thanked everyone. It was such a memorable party and it was Cantrowitz who brought so many people together for such a wonderful, and truly fun, celebration.



  1. My Dear Lilyan,
    Keep enjoying everything you can. Your mind is so sharp and you can still wag your bootie. That is an amazing accomplishment. The beautiful way you dress reflects the beauty that you have in your heart that warms all who know you. It is my honor that you were introduced to your beloved folk dancing in our loving group. Many happy times. I hope to visit you when you are up to it.
    All my love,
    Edith Jason


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