100 Years Young

Frank Pologruto celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends at the Harbor at renaissance of Greene County on Friday, Feb. 22. the centenarian enjoyed every moment, even wearing his black and gold 100th birthday crown, above, for cake with the residents and family.

Frank Pologruto turned 100 years old this weekend at the The Harbor at Renaissance of Greene County.

Pologruto’s family came for the celebration with The Harbor residents on Friday, Feb. 22, and held their own celebration with four generations on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Pologruto was born in Camden, N.J., and lived in Philadelphia for awhile before joining the U.S. Army during World War II. He served as a quartermaster, he said.

After World War II, Pologruto moved to Charlottesville where his father owned and operated a tailor shop on The Corner. Joseph Pologruto’s  shop was across from Mincer’s on the corner where a Starbucks is now. The Pologrutos made suits, even rumored to have fitted Bobby and Ted Kennedy when they attended law school at the University of Virginia.

Pologruto spent his entire career in the clothing business, working at other shops such as the Young Men’s Shop on the Downtown Mall and retired from Leggett’s (which is now Belk).

“He moved to Charlottesville, met my mom (Darwin) there and the rest is history,” said Tom Pologruto, Frank’s youngest son who lives in Culpeper County. “I cannot imagine living this long and seeing everything you can see.”

Frank and Darwin Pologruto were married for 63 years before she passed away in 1992.

Pologruto said Charlottesville has “definitely grown and wasn’t quite as developed as it is now. It grew fast.”

Tom Pologruto said his father has always been a really social person and “fits in at The Harbor so well. It was made to be.”

“He took care of himself up to a year and a half ago—living by himself,” said Theresa Pologruto, his daughter-in-law.

“He took care of mom when she got sick,” Tom Pologruto recalled.

“I have just been blessed to have a father like him,” Francis Pologruto, the eldest son from Mechanicsville, said through watering eyes.

Francis Pologruto still has the military helmet his father wore in the U.S. Army, as well as a coat. Tom Pologruto said he kept all the badges his father earned, as well.

Theresa and Francis Pologruto’s son Christopher Pologruto drove up from South Carolina for the party. Their other son, Brian, missed the festivities on Friday but made it for the family celebration.

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