101 and still going strong

Getting honored at city hall

The Gilroy City Council honored Ted Carpenetti, who celebrated his 101st birthday on September 17 and was instrumental in building Christmas Hill Park.
Born in 1916, Carpenetti was the eighth of 13 children of Italian immigrants.
Carpenetti came to California in 1936, where he worked various jobs, including leasing the Madonna Inn where he met his wife, Elsie, to whom he was married for 58 years.
Carpenetti entered World War II in 1943 when he was drafted into the Navy, serving until the war’s end in 1945.
After the war, Carpenetti worked several jobs, until he started working for the City of Gilroy in 1960 in the Parks Division.
“Ted took great pride in beautifying and maintaining our parks and property, including the development of Christmas Hill Park,” Mayor Roland Velasco said. “People think the park just happened, but it took a lot of work from people like Ted to make it happen.”
Carpenetti retired from the Parks and Recreation Department of Gilroy in 1980.
In retirement, Carpenetti stayed busy, taking work as a handyman, took dance lessons, traveled with senior citizens groups and became a member of the American Legion.
In 1999, Carpenetti got involved with the Gilroy Senior Center, which became a passion ever since. Carpenetti meets with a group of close friends nearly every day at the Senior Center, to enjoy lunch and rich conversations with friends.
At 101-years old, Carpenetti still does his own grocery shopping.
“Thank you all for coming to celebrate my 101st birthday, I appreciate it very much,” Carpenetti said to an audience which included family.