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Russian native marks 105th birthday in Marina

MARINA DEL REY — Residents of the Marina Manor Public Housing Development, friends and family members joined together in honor of Sophia Shapiro’s 105th birthday Nov. 14.

The “Age Is Just a Number” celebration focused on Shapiro, who was born Oct. 4, 1913, in Astrakhan, Russia. She is the daughter of a merchant of the first guild, who operated fisheries and boats to harvest beluga caviar which supplied the ourt of the Emperor Nicholas II.

Shapiro taught Russian language and literature in Odessa, Ukraine. In 1941, she married Solomon Mack, an engineering professor who taught at the Polytechnic Institute in Odessa. They had one son, Lev Mack.  Shapiro emigrated to the United States in 1980 and has lived in Marina Manor since 1986.

“I’m so happy to celebrate with my friends and family,” Shapiro said. When asked what her secret is to living a long life, she answered, “I’ve worked my whole life. It’s important to stay active.”

“My mother is such an inspiration and has always been there to support me,” Lev Mack said at the celebration. “Even at the age of 105, she’s the one reminding me about appointments and things we need to do.”

A well-rounded intellectual, Shapiro still loves to read, watch television and stays current on world events. She recently wrote a 187-page memoir about her life experiences, to be published in early 2019.

The celebration also included a Thanksgiving meal and entertainment provided by residents of Marina Manor, who are senior citizens. The site is one of several public housing developments owned and operated by the Community Development Commission and Housing Authority of Los Angeles County.

Wave Staff Report