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Happy 100th birthday Emma Tracy of West Bend, WI

March 20, 2023 – West Bend, WI – Happy 100th birthday to Emma Tracy who lives at The Fields Assisted Living facility in West Bend Wi. Apt No. 2005. Birthday cards are welcome.


Born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico on March 20, 1923, Emma married William Tracy on January 3, 1942.  “My husband was in the Army, and he was shipped to Europe to fight the Nazi’s,” she said. “I was 19 years old when we married and 21 when I got to the states in 1944.”

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When Emma and her husband arrived in the U.S. they settled on the south side of Milwaukee. Members of St. Augustine Church, William Tracy worked as a supervisor for Schlitz Brewery and Emma raised three daughters. Eventually, in 1956, the couple moved to a house at 56th and Villard.

Cedar Lofts

“It was more convenient because there was a store and school nearby,” she said.

“My husband was always working hard; we had a good life, and he was a good father and husband,” said Emma.

Emma at 19

Emma’s memory is sharp. She is excited to tell her life’s story and focuses on the positive experiences. “When the children were still in kindergarten, I worked for Ziegler Candy Company and then I worked at Boston Store in Brown Deer; I was in the kitchen and helped prepare the food,” she said.

Later Emma went to work in the kitchen at St. Michael’s Hospital. “I drove and I could take meals to the sick or prepare special meals for people with specific health needs,” she said.

A small woman, Emma uses a walker and is nimble in her apartment as she crosses the floor in light blue tennis shoes. “I have something to show you,” she said, confidently leaving the walker behind as she scurried to a back closet in the hallway.

She returned with a small, flowered clutch and proceeded to empty the treasured contents of her 100 years.

Tucked away in the small pocketbook were her driver’s license, two plastic membership cards to Bally Total Fitness, and a black-and-white photo of a childhood friend from Poland.

“We used to take sewing classes at night,” said Emma as she placed her driver’s license on top of a yellow Doily.

A couple of other keepsakes included a business card from the Zenith Driving School and a yellowed newspaper clipping of President John F. Kennedy. “He did so much for this country,” she said of Kennedy who was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

Emma lost her husband when he was 82 years old. William Tracy suffered tuberculosis after returning from WWII.

Emma said the secret to a long life is to “keep on living.”

“I didn’t even know I would reach 100,” she said. “When you have a good husband and a good life… you want to keep on living.”

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