X
GO
Sunny Hill centenarian gets her birthday wish – and then some
Tammy Reiher

Sunny Hill centenarian gets her birthday wish – and then some

JOLIET – What do you wish for when you’re turning 100? Diane Brozman’s wish was to get 100 birthday cards.

What she got was a day full of surprises and about 30 times more cards than she’d hoped for.

Brozman, who has been a resident of Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County since 2007, said she was “overwhelmed” by the attention.

It started with a Facebook post on the county-owned facility’s page. The post  explained Brozman’s birthday wish and asked people to send cards to “Diane B’s birthday surprise.”

Some 2,600 shares later, the cards flowed in from 37 states. School groups, Girl Scouts, elected officials and everyday people she has never met participated. There even was a card from Canada and another from New Zealand.

Brozman’s Valentine’s Day birthday celebration started the day before when students from Joliet Central decorated the hallway to her room with 100 heart-shaped birthday wishes.

With family in tow, Brozman had a front-row seat at the facility’s annual Valentine’s Day party. Musician Frank Rossi was keeping things lively when Julie Lewis’ 3rd-grade class from St. Mary Nativity arrived. The 16 children presented her with a vase of paper flowers, a teddy bear, a heart-shaped box of candy and handmade cards from the entire school.

“That was my parish,” she exclaimed. “That was my parish.” She attended grade school there.

She blew a kiss to the children and teacher after they finished singing Happy Birthday to her. But that was far from her final surprise.

At the end of the dance, Sunny Hill Nursing Home Administrator Becky Haldorson, told the group about the Facebook post and they wheeled in a cart in with boxes of cards. There were 2,634 cards there, she said, and more were expected in the mail that just didn’t make it on time.

“Oh my gosh,” Brozman said in amazement.

At that time, three Joliet police officers walked in. Officer Jamere Price informed Brozman she had committed a crime. “You’ve stolen everyone’s hearts,” he said.

With help from the city’s 911 dispatchers, the officers put together a basket of goodies,  a bouquet of flowers, and three more cards.

“I never thought I’d be this famous,” Brozman said, a big smile on her face as she posed with the “handsome” police officers, who towered her.

Joliet native

Brozman was born and raised in Joliet. Her Yugoslavian immigrant parents, Anthony and Agatha Crnbkovic had eight children. Her father was a founder of St. Mary Nativity Church.

She had six athletic brothers and one sister. (“And she was better looking than me, too!”) As the kid sister, she wanted to keep up with her brothers, shooting baskets in the backyard with them and their friends.

She went everywhere with her dad, she said.

Brozman took typing and shorthand at Joliet Central. After graduation, she got a secretarial job on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.

She taught herself to sew. “I used to sew all my own clothes.”

It was something she continued to do for her daughters.

She and her husband, Michael, had two daughters, Paula and Diane. Paula pre-deceased her, as did all of her siblings. Michael died within days of their 25th wedding anniversary.

She has six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Secret to long life

“I feel young today. I don’t feel 100,” she said, adding, “Every day I thank the Lord I’m here.”

Why does she think she’s lived so long? “Almighty God don’t want me yet. I guess I’m not good enough.”

Later, she said that maybe she lived to be 100 because she’d always been on the go, first trying to keep up with her brothers and still now at Sunny Hill. “Whenever they need volunteers I always put my hand up.”

As the day progressed, the piles of cards and gifts continued to grow. A long table had been put in her room to hold all of the cards and goodies. Several vases of flowers covered the dresser and nightstand.

But there was still one more surprise to come on this special day.

Mid-afternoon a firetruck and ambulance pulled up to the side of the building. There was no emergency. The men from Station 3 just wanted to make a special visit to the Sunny Hill sweetheart.

They, too, came bearing cards. There were nine, one from each of the city’s stations bearing the signatures of the firefighters stationed there. They also brought a heart-shaped box of candy.

After posing for pictures with her, they stood and talked with her.

By day’s end, the card tally reached 3,045.

Brozman planned on enjoying them all.

“There are a lot of good people in the world.”v

Previous Article Will County Office Building Closed Monday, February 18 in observance of Presidents Day
Next Article Mobile Workforce Center March schedule released
Print
1821

Tammy ReiherTammy Reiher

Public Information Officer

Other posts by Tammy Reiher

Contact author

x
Press Contacts

Anastasia Tuskey
Communications Director
Ph: 815-740-8376

Tammy Reiher
Public Information Officer
Ph: 815-774-7485

«November 2020»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
25262728293031
1234
Will County Health Department offers list of FREE Covid-19 testing sites

Will County Health Department offers list of FREE Covid-19 testing sites

The Will County Health Department is offering a list of Free Covid-19 testing sites across Will County. For more information, call the COVID-19 Resource Coordinator at (815) 740-8984.
Read more
567
89101112
Will County Office Building closed to the public beginning Monday, November 16

Will County Office Building closed to the public beginning Monday, November 16

Residents encouraged to contact individual offices via telephone or email

With the number of coronavirus cases rapidly rising across the state of Illinois, Will County Executive Denise Winfrey will close the County Office Building to the public beginning Monday, November 16.

Read more
1314
151617
Don't Mingle with People Outside Your Household

Don't Mingle with People Outside Your Household

Governor Pritzker announces additional mitigations to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Read more
18192021
22232425262728
293012345

Tags

100th birthday 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Passport event acting Chief Judge David Carlson Alison.com All Nations Church of God in Christ Alzheimer's walk America Recycles Day American Legion Post 1080 American Recycles Day Animal Control Arsenal Road assistance BBQ luncheon Becky Haldorson Bolingbrook Park District book event book recycling book recycling and reuse event book reuse and recycling Brayden Caraynoff-Haber Bruce Gould career Caroline Portlock CBS 2 Chicago census Charlotte Mather chicago Street Citizen Utility Board Citizens Utility Board city closings Clothes 4 Work CMAP Community Development of Block Grant cooling centers coronavirus county County Executive Denise Winfrey County Executive Larry Walsh County Office Building covid covid-19 Curt Paddock Danette Krieger David Dubois Deborah Alexander Deirdre Manigo Denise Winfrey Diane Brozman digital safety Director Curt Paddock Dr. L.P. Schild drive-through job fair early voting Earth Day Earth Flag Awards Eastside Green House Eden Community Garden electronic recycling electronics recycling Emergency Management Agency Erin Kohl Ethics Adviser extreme heat federal food bank forklift drivers Frankfort Township Friends of Sunny Hill funding future gardening Gertrude Hoover Green Team groundbreaking Harold Damron Health Department heroin legislation forum hero helps addiction trea Historic Preservation Commission holiday bazaar holiday gift show and luncheon holiday string lights hospital Household Hazardous Waste Illinois Extension Service Illinois Recycling Foundation Janine Farrell Jason Holicky Jeff Hubrich JJC City Center Campus Joan O'Keefe job creation job fair jobs John Greuling John Ocansey Joliet Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk Joliet Park District Joliet Slammers Joyce Parker Judge David Carlson Karen Sorbero Kathy Pecora Land Use Department Larry Walsh Lewis University library Madison Curran maintenance Marta Keane mask material handlers mechanic Melissa Hemzacek Memorial Day Midwest Classics on 66 Museum Midwest Renewable Energy Association Mike Bell Mobile Workforce Center Monee Park District Monee Township Moving Will County municipal Music and memory NACo National Hookup of Black Women National Recycling Coalition neuter/spay Nick Palmer Organix Pam Rodriguez pandemic paper shredding Pastor Dwayne Barfield Penny Curran permits Pilcher Park Pilcher Park Nature Center Plainfield United Methodist Prairie State Legal Services pumpkin composting Pumpkin Pitch Recyclepalooza recycling Resource Recovery and Energy Resource Recovery and Energy Division Resume Gallery Rethink Water campaign ribbon Rolonda Mitchell rural historic structures Samantha Bluemer Savers Savers. WJOL school bus driver school garden Scott Slocum security officers Seeds of Change Grant Program Sharefest sign language solar group buy Solarize Chicagoland Spirit of Community Caring Award St. Vincent DePaul stay home Sunny Hill Nursing Home Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County Susan Flessner Susan Olenek swimming pools Ted Slowik textile collection textile recycling The Daily Southtown The Friends of Sunny Hill Inc. Three Rivers Association of Realtors Tim Anderson tire collection USAgain veterans Veterans Day vision and hearing screening vow renewal warming centers Warren-Sharpe Community Center Washington Township Wayne Breitbarth We Will Grow Garden Program weather related closings West Nile Virus will Will County Will County Center for Community Concerns Will County Clerk Will County Executive Denise Winfrey Will County Executive Larry Walsh Will County Executive Larry Walsh Midwest Renewabl Will County Farm Bureau Will County Health Department Will County Historic Preservation Commission Will County Land Use Department Will County Office Building Will County Office Buildng Will County TB clinic Will County Veterans Affairs Commission Will County Workforce Center Will County Workforce Services Division William E. Young School WJOL Workforce Center of Will County Workforce Investment Board Workforce Services Division Workforce Services Division of Will County Workforce Services Division releases November work workshops Youth Provider Workshop