Mary Hidalgo, SHSMA docent and longtime volunteer, will be 100 years old on February 29! To celebrate this happy milestone, Sunnyvale Historical Society members who know Mary from her many years of service to the museum are invited to an open house reception to wish Mary a “Happy 100th” and enjoy a piece of her birthday cake. Find the celebration details below.
Greet Mary at her 100th Birthday Open House Celebration
Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum
Saturday, February 22
Mary was born on February 29, 1920, Leap Year Day. Antioch, California was her birthplace and home for the first five years of her life. Ninety-five years ago, Mary moved to Sunnyvale and has lived here ever since. Growing up, Mary and her four siblings lived in homes on Pastoria Avenue and Charles Street. During the Great Depression, teenager Mary supplemented her family’s income by working at Libby’s Cannery.
Mary has actually lived some of Sunnyvale’s important history. One night in 1961, when Mary, her husband, Gregory, and their five children were living in a home just two blocks from the old Murphy house, the couple were awakened by searchlights lighting up their bedroom and very loud noises coming from down the street. Gregory jumped out of bed and headed toward the commotion, arriving just in time to see the bulldozing of the Murphy house!
Years later, after her husband had passed away, Mary began her 38 years of volunteering as a museum docent: first at the old museum in Murphy Park, then at its current location. She continues to volunteer on the first Tuesday of every month, guiding visitors and answering questions as only one who has lived in Sunnyvale for ninety-five years can. Mary also donates time to our nation’s veterans, logging 20,000 volunteer hours during sixteen years of service at the VA hospital. She continues to aid veterans through her service to the American Legion Auxiliary.
Gardening and crocheting are two of Mary’s favorite pastimes. She enjoys planting flowers as the seasons change and has crocheted numerous scarves, blankets and baby blankets over the years.
Mary could fill a book with the changes she has witnessed in Sunnyvale. When asked her thoughts about those changes, in addition to her dislike of today’s traffic and congestion, she misses the convenient local shopping of years gone by, when shoppers could park on the street in front of neighborhood stores which stocked almost everything one might need.
Mary’s “words of wisdom” for living a long and happy life?
1.) Keep busy 2.) Keep out of trouble 3.) Keep a sense of humor. 4.) Enjoy life!