Dearborn 'Rosie the Riveter' celebrates 100th birthday

- While the New England Patriots were celebrating a big win on Sunday, a Michigan family was celebrating a big birthday.

Vivian Vaughn of Dearborn celebrated her 100th birthday with her family. She was a Rosie the Riveter at Willow Run during World War II.

She spent her birthday first at church and then with her loved ones, recalling her time working for General Motors with so many other Riveters.

"Fun!" she says of her time there. "When I first got in there, my boss was only 17 years old. I said, 'You mean to tell me you're my boss?' I didn't like the job so asked if I could have that job over there - and he gave it to me. It was on a machine."

Vivian met her second husband, Sam, while working at the factory. He worked on the airplanes at Willow Run. She's outlived two husbands and is still independent.

"She doesn't want to go anywhere; she wants to stay here," says her son, Norman Bradford. The longevity must run in the family. He just turned 80, and she has another son, Malcomn, who is 71.

"It's amazing because everybody says they can't believe she's lived that long and looks that good," Malcom says.

Her health can be attributed to all the clean living she's done. She says she's never smoked - and gives the same advice to the younger generations.

"Don't smoke!" she says. "You don't need to smoke, and leave the booze alone."

Vivian still has her sense of humor. She says the one thing people don't believe about her age is that she still has her own hair.

Vivian's actual birthday is Thursday, February 9. 


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories