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Ceres woman defies odds of reaching 100 years of age
• Genie Dimperio honored at family gathering on Feb. 19
Genevive “Genie” Dimperio
Now 100, Genevive “Genie” Dimperio has been asked her secret to longevity but admits she hasn’t been much of a model for a healthy lifestyle. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Of American women born in 1924, only 2.7 percent expected to make it to the age of 100. But one Ceres woman recently reached the milestone on Feb. 19 which was celebrated at a family party held at her Ceres home.

The party was “really nice,” reported her granddaughter and caregiver Darci Hopper.

“A few cancelled because of the weather from where they were coming from but a special visitor made his way all the way out here to visit her from Wyoming, a cousin,” said Hopper.

Longevity unexplained

In recent years Genevive “Genie” Dimperio has been asked her secret to longevity but admits she hasn’t been much of a model for a healthy lifestyle. The answer she gave the Courier in 2017 was:  “I don’t eat right. I don’t exercise. I never smoked, that’s one thing, and I had plenty of stress.”

She also now has a vice of devouring Haagen-Dazs coffee flavored ice cream. But when you’re 100, nobody is going to make a fuss over it.

On top of all that, Mrs. Dimperio had a cancer scare when she was in her eighties which resulted in a mastectomy.

Genie had good company reaching 100. Husband Tom Diperio died at the age of 102 on Nov. 26, 2021 at the VA Palo Alto Medical Center in Menlo Park. She misses him, reported her granddaughter, and his loss has left her somewhat depressed. At the time of his death, their marriage had lasted more than 75 years.

“She misses him a lot,” said Darci “but other than that she’s doing okay.”

When asked how Genie spends her days, Hopper gave a simple rundown.

“She just gets waited on hand and foot by me. I baby her. She’s pretty much still mobile and she likes watching the birds out the window and watching her favorite TV shows, just basically living out her life the best that she can.”

One of her favorite TV shows is the re-runs of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

“She likes that show – it makes her laugh.”

Because of pains that plaque her back and legs, Genie limits outings to doctor appointments and being wheeled around the block in a wheelchair. Her infirmities have caused her to cut out attending services at Village Chapel Free-Will Baptist Church.

Early life

Genie and Tom met as a result of World War II. She was born in Folsom but living in Auburn when seriously wounded American GI Tom Dimperio was transferred to DeWitt General Hospital in the foothills above Sacramento. Tom was on the mend for months after being shot by a Nazi gun between Florence and Bologna, Italy. One day ailing Tom was in town with a friend when he saw Genie riding a horse with a friend and decided to follow to some flirting and press for a date which she initially turned down.

The war had claimed her brother, Airman Jesse Pierce, killed in a B-29 bomber crash in India.

After marrying on March 18, 1946, the couple settled in his hometown of Ceres, which she liked because of its small size. She brought into the union a son, David, from a previous marriage that lasted a month since her husband was killed in an automobile crash. The Dimperio had a son, Thomas. Both sons are living.

For three years Genie and Tom lived in the ranch house at 941 Richland Avenue until they got their own place. In 1964 they purchased a home on Wallen Way which is still her home today under the care of her son and granddaughter.

Wants to live forever

According to her granddaughter, Genie wants to “live forever,” which is answered with: “The older you get, the more ornery you’re getting.”

“She gets scared too because she knows when she’s at her age it could be a matter of any time. But that’s any of us. I could walk outside tomorrow and drop.”

Dimperio birthday cake
A photo display next to her birthday cake was part of the 100th birthday party celebration on Feb. 19 for Genevive “Genie” Dimperio. - photo by Contributed to the Courier