North Bergen celebrates 100-year-old resident

Maria Carcich was presented with a plaque on her birthday

Mayor Nicholas Sacco presented a plaque to North Bergen resident Maria Carcich on Tuesday, March 9, on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Joining in the birthday celebration were Police Chief Peter Fasilis and a procession of police and fire personnel with flashing lights driving past her home.

Carcich was born in 1921 in what was then Yugoslavia. She emigrated to Hudson County in 1964 with her husband Andrew and three daughters.

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According to the township, Carcich worked as a seamstress in a West New York knitting factory for many years before retiring in 1986. She speaks multiple languages and always loved gardening, cooking, and baking. Until COVID-19 hit she never missed a Sunday mass, walking to the nearby church each week.

Carcich enjoys spending time with her family, including her three grandkids and three great-grandchildren. Her daughters and other family members joined in the birthday celebration, as neighbors presented her with cake, flowers, and balloons.

Although she currently uses a walker, Carcich continues to be quite active and insisted on coming downstairs to pose with police officers and their motorcycles. She credits her longevity to a diet of home-grown vegetables, fish, and red wine.

Pandemic birthday celebrations

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, birthday celebrations have obviously been limited. The township has honored residents celebrating their birthdays through drive-by celebrations.

The township organized a similar celebration to help a local boy celebrate his 12th birthday last April. Police officers drove past his house blaring Happy Birthday from their stereos.

The practice has been commonplace across the county, and the country. In Bayonne, the city held a drive-by celebration to honor a 98-year-old WWII veteran in April.

The practice has become part of the “new normal” for now. However, as the vaccine distribution expands and more restrictions are lifted, there is hope for normal birthday celebrations again.

For updates on this and other stories, check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at

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