Milestone is reached


Journal Staff Writer

ISHPEMING – Lifelong Ishpeming resident Irene Vicary turned 100 years old on Sunday, and the event was celebrated by friends and family at the Marquette County Medical Care Facility in Ishpeming.

Bruce Lawry, Vicary’s grandson, said that roughly 65 people were in attendance to ring in her special day.

However, on Saturday, she was very modest about the upcoming event.

“It’s no miracle that I’m still here,” Vicary said. “If I was smart, I would’ve turned 100 many years ago and gotten it over with.”

When she was asked by family Saturday about how she felt about the milestone, she said, “It’s not here yet. Tomorrow is another day.”

Her son, Thomas Vicary, said that she was born in lower Michigan, but spent the majority of her life in Ishpeming.

Vicary was adopted as a child, but she had two brothers and a sister with her biological family and two sisters and a brother with her adopted family.

Through the years, she kept in contact with all of her siblings, and she is the only one on either side that is still remaining.

Perhaps Vicary maintains a modest approach to her birthday because extended lifespans are common among her family. Her sister, Alice Thompson, lived to be 102, and her husband, Bernard Vicary, died at the age of 97.

Thomas Vicary said that Irene and Bernard owned and ran a small grocery store in the Salisbury area of Ishpeming for about 20 years, which was known as “Vicary’s.”

Irene Vicary also spent a few years working at the Gossard building in downtown Ishpeming.

Sean Vicary, another of Irene’s grandsons, made the trip from Houston, Texas, with his brother Brent to take part in the celebration.

“We had to come up for it,” he said. “It was worth it to come out here and see her on her birthday. Not many people make it to 100, so that’s very special. And I’m happy it’s in my gene pool.”

Irene Vicary’s family said that as the big day approached, she had mixed feelings about it.

“She said she never wanted to be 100,” said Vicary’s daughter-in-law, Laurel Vicary. “Then, another time, she said she really wanted to be 100.”

Justin Marietti can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 245. His email address is