LONGMEADOW – Family, friends, volunteers and staff of JGS Lifecare’s Leavitt Family Jewish Home celebrated the 100th birthday of resident Abe Neigher on Dec. 18 in the nursing home’s Gloth Family Auditorium.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno presented an official proclamation declaring the date as “Abe Neigher Day” in the City of Springfield. The celebration included heartfelt presentations about Abe’s life, a performance by the Debbie Neigher Trio, and birthday cake.
Born Dec. 23, 1916 in Springfield, Neigher was the youngest of nine children. He graduated from the High School of Commerce and served during World War II as a pharmacist’s mate in the Navy. He was married to his late wife Molly for 66 years. Their only child William was the master of ceremonies for the celebration, joined by his children Aaron and Deborah and numerous extended family, including fellow centenarian Ethel Neigher, who was married to Abe’s brother Hi (who also reached his 100th birthday before his passing in 2015). Abe is the fourth sibling to reach the milestone, along with Hi and his two sisters Goldie and Betty.
Asked about his secret to a long, meaningful life, he said, “I worked very hard [but so did everyone else]; I had a positive outlook on life. Never held a grudge. I loved everyone. If something didn’t work out I tried something else. I was very proud of being Jewish.”
Cap: Family and friends celebrating the 100th birthday of Abe Neigher, center.