MADISON — John F. Kennedy was born in 1917. So was Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie.

The United States declared war on Germany. Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated for his second term as president, and World War I raged in hot spots around the globe.

And 100 years ago Monday, on Jan. 16, 1917, Ann Shusta Labin was born on a side street in Madison. She is the daughter of farmer George Shusta, whose land was located on what is now Shusta Road in Madison.

Labin was feted at Maple Crest Living Center Monday, where about 30 family members and friends gathered with cake and flowers to wish her a happy birthday.

With her hearing aids missing Monday, Ann’s son, David Labin, 61, spoke into his mother’s ear and passed along her replies.

So what is the secret to long life? Ann was asked.

“She always tells everybody that her answer to a long life is to work hard and mind your own business,” her son said.

Ann Shusta was born on Perkins Street near the public library. She took a horse and buggy to the farm, where her father sold milk and hay. She had two older sisters and three of her own children, said David Labin, manager of the Skowhegan-Madison Elks Lodge. She was a graduate of Madison High School, class of 1935.

As a young woman, Ann Shusta worked at the American Woolen Mill in Madison and later drove to Waterville to work as a garment inspector at the Wyandotte Worsted mill. Until recently Ann attended Madison High School football games as she had done since her brother played in 1929.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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