"Our greatest generation," city of Warren celebrates 99 and 100-year-olds at free lunch

They worked switch boards, stormed islands in Pacifica and set records in racing.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts referred to these 99 and 100-year-olds "our greatest generation."

"They lived through a lot of great events, all the way back from World War 1, World War 2, The Depression, the space age, the onset of radio, the onset of automobiles and a whole host of other things," said Fouts.

On Wednesday, seven Warren residents congregated at a special ceremony, being honored for hitting the centennial mark.

"We have a few who are 99," Fouts said. "Normally they go from 100 to one year it was 106, so we wanted to bring in the young people this year."

One of those 'young' people was Freda Hojnacki, who was born in 1919. She worked for Michigan Bell back in 1947.

Lucky for audiences, she had a photo of her stationed at a massive old-timey computer with a head set on. In front of her, several cords stick out of a switchboard - a testament to how the workforce has evolved since the days of black and white photos.

"It was the manual just before we went into dial," said Hojnacki. "In Royal Oak at the hospital - Beaumont Hospital - that's where they were started out with the switchboard."

Then there's the ever-youthful John Jones, celebrating his 99th birthday. A Navy veteran, who at 21 found himself embedded in Japan during the world's largest conflict in history, he even saved the letters he wrote to his wife while stationed in San Francisco.

"Well, we saw action in Okinawa and in the Philippines. That was back in 1945 when we invaded Okinawa," said Jones.

Combined, the seven individuals' total life experience nearly eclipsed 700 years - an exemplary feat.

But is it as impressive as Vicki Wood? The apparent record holder in racing at the Daytona Sand. 

"I raced from 53 to 63 and I still hold the record," she said. "It'll never be broken."

"I think you're never too young or too old to accomplish a lot of things and these people are good examples of people who are living right into their 99 and 100 years old," Fouts said, "and they're doing pretty good."