Bay Area WWII vet celebrates 103rd birthday


REDWOOD CITY (KRON) — Victor Zappettini may be 103 years old now, but don’t tell him that.

He still works out in the gym and never backs down from an arm wrestling challenge from one of his great nephews.

“You know you’re the winner,” he said to his great nephew after an arm wrestling match.

Zappettini was born in Fresno back in 1916.

He eventually moved to San Francisco where he joined the U.S. Marine Corp and served overseas in World War II during his seven-year career.

“Everything in my life went perfect,” Zappettini said. “Couldn’t have been any better.”

When he returned to the Bay Area after war, Zappetttini spent 27 years as a firefighter for the San Francisco Fire Department.

He lives in Redwood City now and during his birthday party on Friday at the Brookdale Senior Living Community, Redwood City presented the veteran with a certificate of recognition for his service and longevity.

So, did his old fire department.

“And a certificate of recognition appreciation on your 103rd birthday for outstanding service to the fire fighters of San Francisco from IFF local 798,” San Francisco Fire Department announced. “So, this is for you.”

“People in his age group, lived through the depression, they lived through a war,” Zappettini’s great nephew, Robert Pent said. “They stepped up to make this country great and didn’t take anything for granted about it, I mean, they just did it, because that’s what they needed to do to make this country great.”

“I never smoked in my life,” Zappettini said. “I have a clean life to refer back to. I never did anything bad or ruined my life. So, that’s about all I can say about it. I enjoy everything I do.”

He’s certainly earned it.

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