- The Magazine
- Current Issue
- Events & Shows
- Web Extras
- Yellow Pages
108-year-old celebrates her birthday with dinner, a cake, family, and friends in Mesquite.
Photo: Virgin River chef Matthew Gould w/ Annie Mancuso (left) & her daughter, Rosemarie Morelli.
Annie Mancuso is among Virgin River Hotel Casino’s favorite customers—and for good reason.
Born Annie Marie Gottone in 1904, the energetic former resident of Flushing Long Island, New York, recently spent her 108th birthday with her family and friends at the Mesquite resort before playing her favorite penny slot machine and having the time of her life as customers all over the hotel sang “Happy Birthday” to her.
Mancuso is one of a kind. She is even part of a research program at Boston University, where experts study long life spans and how senior citizens like Annie keep on keeping on in a world filled with endless challenges.
Considered a Supercentenarian by Boston University, Mancuso has been a part of the study since she turned 105.
“She is absolutely incredible,” says hotel host and ambassador Lex Hall, 67. “No question that she’s one of the most interesting guests we have ever had here. She plays her favorite slot while serving as somewhat of a cheerleader to anyone in the casino. Annie is very invigorating to the rest of us. She is very spry for her age. We can all learn from her, that’s for sure.”
Needless to say, Mancuso is a historian. She lived in New York with her parents before moving to Denver circa 1920.
Before she had turned 30, Al Capone was imprisoned for income-tax evasion, the U.S. officially got the National Anthem; the Empire State Building was completed; scientists split the atom; the Great Depression rocked the country; and notorious bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde had been gunned down. Air conditioning was invented, and Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
By the time she was 40, Mancuso had seen two World Wars, along with health risks that included Influenza in the 1920s. In fact, her oldest sister, Virginia, died of the viral infection in 1926.
The timeline goes on and on, but one thing remains for sure for the woman who would eventually have three children while serving as a wonderful wife, mother, cook and a very talented seamstress: Life has been good to her, and it gets better every day for the bubbly lady with so much energy and vigor that she could lead a Dale Carnegie class.
“Our house was always meticulous, and we could always smell good food cooking,’’ says Mancuso’s daughter, Rosemarie Morelli, who owns a condominium in Mesquite. “She made homemade bread and always had a good laugh. She was just a typical Italian wife and mother and an excellent cook. I look back at the days when I was growing up, and my mom had great pride in her home. When she wins at the slot machine, you can hear her giggle.”
Mancuso loves hanging out in Mesquite during the winter months before retreating to Murray, Utah near Salt Lake City during the first week of May. She and her daughter then go to Grand Junction, Colorado, in June and finally return to Mesquite a few days after Christmas.
With an ideal altitude of about 1,650 feet and daytime temperatures that average about 75 degrees in Mesquite, the winters are ideal in Southern Nevada. “I really like Mesquite,” Mancuso says. “It’s nice, and I really enjoy living there.”
Mancuso is remarkably healthy for her age using a walker to get around. However, she didn’t even start using the walker until last year. “She is very healthy and has that twinkle in her eye,” Morelli says.