HOPEDALE The village wished a happy 100th birthday to Meata Folio Feb. 26 at the village firehall.
Francesantonio and Filomena Tornifoglia, his parents, came to the USA from Pettroano Sul Gizio, Italy in the Abruzzo Region. He is one of eight children.
Folio was born Amadeo Miteato Tornifoglia in Coalton, West Virginia and grew up in Grafton before moving to Hopedale in the 1930s. His third grade teacher could not pronounce Amaedo and called him "Meata", a name he would use for the rest of his life.
T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK
Meata Folio celebrated his 100th birthday this past weekend, joined by friends and family. Pictured: Folio, wife Jennie, children Judith Beattie, Cynthia, Michael and Phillip Folio, and Isabella Folio granddaughter.
He was an active member of the Civilian Conservation Corps in West Virginia as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. The Recreation and infrastructure projects provided employment opportunities for men during the Great Depression. He helped build Tygart Dam in Grafton.
He worked as a railroad laborer for seven years and a shovel operator for Cravat Coal for 43 years. He's was involved in the Knights of Columbus, and Hopedale's fire department.
He was often seen working his 90x90 garden where he grew the family vegetables for 50 years. He is accomplished at woodworking. Many of his woodworking pieces are still being used in his home today.
A packed house joined in celebrating his centennial. Included was Jennie Folio, his wife of 62 years, his children, Judith Beattie, Cynthia, Michael and Phillip Folio, and grandchildren Natalie Raabe, Alex and Nick Beattie, and Isabella Folio. The village council presented him with a plaque in recognition.
"I would like to thank all of you for coming out today to celebrate our Dad's 100th Birthday," said Beattie. "He's done a lot for the community."
She also thanked Folio for his wisdom and guidance through life.
He credits his longevity to "Hard work, love of family, a great marriage to a great woman, and a Christian life."
DeFrank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org