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BIOGRAPHY

Laboda was born as Bernice Sliwa in Chicago, Illinois on 9 February 1913 to John and Catherine (née Tomasiewska) Sliwa, who were both Polish immigrants, and lived to 95 and 88 respectively. She had two younger sisters – Mary and Anna. When she was two, the family moved to a farm in Thorp, Wisconsin, where Anna was born. As a child, she did not eat processed foods, and grew up with a self-sufficient lifestyle.

Laboda returned to Chicago in 1930. She married John Laboda on 17 September 1938; the couple had five children. They later moved to Bensenville, Illinois, and remained there for 41 years. She was widowed in 1996, and moved to La Moille, Illinois shortly thereafter.

Laboda enjoyed gardening during her centenarian years, and was skilled in sewing, quilting, and crocheting. She never smoked, and seldom drank alcohol. She claimed that the secret to her longevity was “hard work”. Her son Dennis died in 2017 aged 72.

As of 2021, Laboda had five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She was fond of paczkis, a doughnut often found in Polish cuisine, and was given some by the owners of Michigan bakery ‘Cops & Doughnuts’ for her 108th birthday.

RECOGNITION

Laboda was first noted for her longevity on her 108th birthday by the owners of Cops & Doughnuts, when they drove to her to supply her with a dozen paczkis. She was also reported by the Shaw Local on her 108th, and again on her 110th birthday.

Her age was verified by Stefan Maglov, and validated by LongeviQuest on 19 February 2023.

ATTRIBUTION

* “Bernice M. Laboda Obituary” – Merritt Funeral Home

GALLERY

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