A 20-vehicle parade of friends, old colleagues, officials, neighbors, family and friends toasted Alice Link as she celebrated her 100th birthday Thursday in Huntington.
Link, a retired teacher of Spanish and French in the South Huntington school district, former docent for the Huntington Historical Society and mother of 5, grandmother of 10 and great-grandmother of 11, accepted the congratulations offered as the vehicles rolled by, festooned with signs.
She said she was aiming to reach 118, wanting to outdo a man who lived to the age of 117. Her eldest granddaughter, Justine Hughes of Greenlawn, said of her grandmother, “She’s been a volunteer for many years, anything in Huntington, anything anyone asked her to do, she did.”
“She always says, ‘keep going,’ ” Hughes said. “If you say, ‘I can’t,’ you can. She just keeps pushing herself to keep going.”
“We’re very happy to celebrate Alice today, ” said Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci. “We want to thank her for her contributions to the community.” Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and State Sen. Jim Gaughran also congratulated the centenarian.
After studying interior design and taking time off to raise her children, Link returned to college and then taught in the South Huntington district for 20 years. She had spent her early years in France, returning to the US with her parents as World War II loomed. After retiring, she worked as a private tutor, and volunteered as a docent for the Huntington Historical Society for 30 years.
Her secret for her longevity? “Pick your genes, pick your ancestors,” she said.