Grace Seifert of Rocky Point was in her 40s when she learned to drive a car, in her 60s when she learned to ride a bicycle, and in her 80s when she began delivering meals to homebound elderly who were younger than her.
And while not particularly athletic, she bowled a perfect game in her mid-60s, her family said.
"She was a very positive person. She always had a smile on her face. She enjoyed her friends," her daughter Carol Ann Hochbrueckner of Laurel, said.
Seifert died Friday at 101 at Long Island State Veterans Nursing Home in Stony Brook. Her husband, Edward, a World War II veteran, died in 1995.
Hochbrueckner is married to former Rep. George Hochbrueckner, a Democrat from Suffolk County who was in the state Assembly for 10 years and in Congress from 1987 to 1995.
"She campaigned for my husband, standing outside supermarkets and handing out literature, stuffing envelopes at headquarters," her daughter said.
George Hochbrueckner called his mother-in-law "a great campaign asset. Who is going to say no to a 75-year-old woman handing out literature?"
Seifert was born Grace Joan McBride in Brooklyn on Nov. 26, 1913, and at her death was the last of 10 siblings. One of her seven sisters lived to 106 and four others lived into their 90s, her daughter said.
Seifert met her future husband at a surprise birthday party and they married in 1937. When he joined the U.S. Army in 1943, she took over the family bar and grill in the Bronx and ran it until his return.
They rented a home in Levittown in 1948, then bought a home in Hicksville two years later. He was a long-haul trucker and she raised their four children.
After the children were grown, Seifert rode with her husband on some of his cross-country trucking runs. As he prepared to retire, they sold the house and moved to Florida, but returned to Long Island in 1983.
Seifert is also survived by daughters Patricia Glinsky of Oliphant, Pennsylvania; Linda Joy of Oxford, Maryland; Diane Brina of Albany; son Edward Seifert of Kansas City, Missouri; 12 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.
There will be a wake Wednesday from 3 to 8 p.m. at St. James Funeral Home at 829 Middle Country Rd. in St. James. A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Thursday at Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church at 110 Myrtle Ave. in Port Jefferson. Burial will follow at Calverton National Cemetery.
The family said donations in her name can be made to Hope House in Port Jefferson, Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook or Good Shepherd Hospice in Farmingdale.