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home : columnists : columnists August 23, 2017

3/23/2017 4:49:00 AM
Family owned shoe-shine, hat-repair in the 1920s
Photo providedMary (Speros) Sizelove (right with her dad) with her family in front of their business in 1925.
Photo provided

Mary (Speros) Sizelove (right with her dad) with her family in front of their business in 1925.

Mary Sizelove
Mary Sizelove

By Betsy Reason

Mary Sizelove turns 100 years old today.

When she was 8 years old, her mother and father moved to downtown Noblesville to open a hat-repair and shoe-shine shop on the south side of the Hamilton County Courthouse Square.

"Their store did very well. They shined shoes and sold and cleaned hats," said their daughter, Debbie (Sizelove) Troski of Noblesville, who contacted me about her mother turning 100.

Born Mary Ann Speros in Anderson, on March 23, 1917 - during World War I and when Woodrow Wilson was president - she is the last surviving of three sisters, including Alice (Speros) Oakley and Esther (Taylor). Mary is the only one in her family to make it to the centurion mark.

Mary's mom, Anna Speros, hailed from Warsaw, Poland, and her father, Sam Speros, from Athens, Greece.

They lived above their downtown Noblesville shop, which was just east of the current Uptown Café. Mary helped clean the family's shop. Every Sunday, they would take the interurban to Sacred Heart Parish in Cicero to attend mass.

During World War II, Mary was a seamstress and made parachutes for the U.S. Air Force. She became so talented that she began a career working for a dress designer at Marshall Field's, an upscale department store in Chicago, where she had many dresses showcased in the Marshall Field's window displays.

While in Chicago, Mary met the love of her life, Robert D. Sizelove. They married and moved to Kokomo and had one child, Debbie (Sizelove) Troski, who married Ernie Troski, and has two children, Nick, a 2006 Noblesville High School graduate, and Natalie, a 2009 NHS grad.

Mary will celebrate her 100th birthday with an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Maple Park Village in Westfield, where she resides. Family and friends are invited.

Birthday wishes may also be mailed to Mary Sizelove, Maple Park Village, 776 N. Union St., Westfield, IN 46074.

Mary's daughter, Debbie Troski - who has been a teacher for 3-year-olds and pre-kindergarten at Noblesville First United Methodist Church Preschool for 22 years - tells me that the preschool students are writing 100 cards for Debbie's mom on her birthday.

Fighting back emotions, she said, "It brought tears to my eyes; how sweet of them."

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.

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