Jesse Radice, a resident of LifeCare Center of Charleston in the Elms Plantation, celebrated his 103rd birthday on July 9.
He was born in Greenwich Village, New York in 1909, and is the 11th of 11 children. Several of his older brothers and sisters were parents themselves when he was born. His father, mother, two older sisters and a brother immigrated to the United States from Italy. His father was a carpenter who worked on the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1880s.
After graduating from Jamaica High School, Mr. Radice attended Browne’s Business School in New York; the tuition was a gift from his godfather. As a young man, he worked in the garment industry, alongside his seamstress sisters, repairing sewing machines. During World War II, he worked as a civilian for the Air Force. Eventually he put his business education to work at various companies and retired from US Steel Corporation, NYC as the manager of inland shipping in 1974.
Very early in life he discovered his unique musical talent. He had only six months of piano lessons, and then taught himself to play the piano. He was the hit of every family gathering because if you hummed a few bars of a song, he could play it.
Mr. Radice married late in life, but was married to his wife, Paulene for 60 years. They had two daughters. He is a life- long member of the Elks and was a cherished organist for their ceremonies.