Valley centenarian's 100th birthday wish fulfilled


Asked what she wanted for her 100th birthday, Margaret LoCicero responded with her signature humor.

“A marching band,” she would tell people.

Little did she know the staff at Mercy Health’s Marian Assisted Living Center took her seriously.

Tuesday afternoon, all LoCicero knew was her family and Marian residents and staff had gathered to throw her a birthday party.

After blowing out candles on her birthday cake, LoCicero sat in a balloon-filled room, a birthday tiara perched on her head. Then, in walked a man LoCicero had never met.

“We have a few things in common,” said Tom Ruggieri. “You worked in the Boardman schools. I work in the Boardman schools.

“You know what I do?” he asked. “I direct the band.”

With that, it was time for the show to begin. Booming musical notes sounded in the hallway, moving closer and closer to the room.

Dozens of Boardman Spartan Marching Band members filed into the room, where LoCicero had a front-row seat as they regaled her with several songs – including, of course, “Happy Birthday.”

Read more about the surprise in Wednesday's Vindicator or on

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