Meet Your Neighbor: Anna Dewender

I was born in Manhattan in 1918. In fourth grade, my family bought a bakery, and we moved to the Bronx. Those were very prosperous times for us. Our closets and tables were always filled with bread. When the stock market crashed, times were tough, but we pulled through.

I was 16 when I met my husband. His mother would send him to the bakery for bread. One day he worked up the courage to invite me to the opera. I’d never dreamed of going to the opera, so I was very impressed. When he finished college, he was drafted into the war. On his first furlough, we got married. Then the Army sent us to Alabama, where we started our family, and he went on to serve in Alaska. I missed him so much when he was gone. I’ll never forget the night I heard the bell rang, and there he was.

We moved in with my parents in Brooklyn where we raised three beautiful children. It was 53 years I was in that house. In that time my parents passed, and then my husband. It's hard to believe its been 20 years since Eddie's gone. One of my daughters lives in Forest Hills, so I moved here to be close. I used the war bonds I'd bought when I was young to purchase my very own apartment, and I'm proud of that.

Just the other day, I turned 100 years old. I'm a proud great-grandmother, and I'm still very close with my little sister, who's 94. My only regret is that I didn’t live in all five boroughs. I’m thinking I’ll take a two-week vacation to Staten Island so I can claim it, too.

Queens Community House
Support Queens Community House

Queens Community House provides individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities.