100 years is a blessing | RecordCourier.com

100 years is a blessing

Dora Ragollo celebrates her 100th birthday at the Douglas County Community Center Saturday afternoon.
Brad Coman |

Every morning Dora Rogallo of Minden puts on her makeup, does her hair and dresses in her best.

“She will dress up to get the paper,” said Bill Souligny of Minden, her neighbor of 10 years. “That’s just who she is. She’s very humble, appreciative and ready to invite you in.”

Rogallo’s great-granddaughter, 22-year-old Sydney Russ, played “Happy Birthday” on the clarinet as Souligny and more than a dozen friends and relatives from all over the country celebrated Rogallo’s 100th birthday Saturday at the Douglas County Senior and Community Center.

“Some people haven’t seen her in 60 years, but wouldn’t miss celebrating with her,” said Rogallo’s daughter, Carol Ann.

“I have lots of friends. I make friends easily and I like to take them home and do things. I love people.”— Dora Rogallo

“I have lots of friends,” said Rogallo, looking around the room. “I make friends easily and I like to take them home and do things. I love people.”

She pointed out a relative she didn’t quite remember, but thought it was very special that he came to celebrate with her.

Rogallo said living to 100 has been beyond anything you can think of.

Rogallo was born the fourth of eight children in Gap Creek, Ky. She was a bit of a tomboy and enjoyed swinging on vines over creeks and riding a horse bareback through the woods. She’s lived in many parts of the country from east to west and has traveled the world.

“She’s lived a long filled life,” said Melissa Brazeau, Rogallo’s granddaughter. “She’s quite the dynamo.”

Rogallo remembers when a loaf of bread cost five cents and most food was homegrown.

“Mother raised us and we had to make our own way,” she said. “We had to grow our own or we didn’t eat.”

Rogallo has walked the runway as a model, drove a school bus, worked in the medical field and can she whip up a pie while most still are deciding what kind to make.

She’s been married seven times, outliving all her husbands, and is the only one surviving of her brothers and sisters.

She’s been through war and has witnessed sacrifice and suffering, while living life to the fullest with spirit and a fondness for people.

“I was blessed,” Rogallo said. “I think that’s why I love everybody.”

She moved to the Carson Valley after her husband Dr. Harold Rogallo passed away to live with her grandson, Tim, and his wife, Suzanne, until they retired.

She enjoys tending to her garden and bird watching at her Winhaven home.

“After everywhere I have been this is my favorite place,” said Rogallo. “There’s lots of ducks, a little pond — it’s beautiful and quiet.”