By Kathy Chouteau
Rosie the Riveter Trust extended warm birthday wishes to Rosie Ambassador Marian Sousa on her 97th birthday Jan. 6th and “Rosie” Mary Highfill on her 99th birthday Jan. 5th with special celebrations.
Sousa, a volunteer who gave two presentations at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park on her special day, headed with staff for lunch at Mel’s Diner in Pinole, where they “treated her like the queen she is (look at that tiara),” said the Trust.
“We are so fortunate to have her share her stories each Friday at the visitor center, along with Marian Wynn. Please join us in wishing her a happy birthday,” the Trust added.
Around the same time, the Trust honored Highfill for her birthday, and along with her friend Jeanne Gibson, helped organize a surprise lunch for her at her senior center in Pinole, they said.
Highfill’s Richmond roots run deep. The Trust said she first worked as a J.C. Penny cashier on Macdonald Avenue, and also as a stillman in the asphalt division at Standard Oil Company (now Chevron Richmond) in 1943. Mary “cooked” crude oil to the correct temperature before it was placed in containers to be shipped out, per the Trust. “After the war ended she transferred to the mail room and worked there until she got married,” they said.
Rosie the Riveter Trust is the official non-profit partner of the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park on the Richmond waterfront.