KENILWORTH, NJ - Suzanne Zawacki, a special education teacher for 23 years, and Kenilworth softball and basketball coach recently celebrated her grandmother's 100th birthday. Known as Oma to her family, Maria Theresa Wadle was born in Vimbuch, Germany on July 29, 1920. Loved ones gathered at Wadle's home in Union to wish her many more years of health, and happiness.

The Township of Union joined in on the celebration by coordinating a birthday drive-by with the police and fire department, as well as Mayor Michele Delisfort who personally came to congratulate and present her with a Testimonial Resolution.

Wadle immigrated to America when she was 17. She arrived in New York City and lived above her uncle’s bakery. Working at the bakery she learned English from her customers. Her most memorable customer she said was Louis Armstrong. In October 1940, she met her love Rudolph Wadle in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and they married on May 18, 1941.  They had two children, Walter Wadle, and Lillian Wadle Detjen.  Mrs. Wadle set down her roots in Union, with the purchase of their first home in 1951, and continues to reside in Union with her daughter and son-in-law.

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She has four granddaughters all raised in Union: Laura Detjen, Lisa Padden, Christi-ann Field, and Suzanne Zawacki.  Maria is also blessed with four grandsons and twenty-one great-grandchildren.  Her granddaughters say that she loves and cares for them immensely, and they simply adore her.  Her faith and strength are an inspiration to share with all.

Zawacki said it was a beautiful day celebrating at home with Oma and the family. “Our grandmother is the sweetest most caring person we all know. She has given me and my children the most unconditional love, support, and care throughout our whole lives. We are so lucky she is there for us and guides us with strength and positivity.”