WINTERS — Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis), chair of the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, celebrated Sept. 17 as Keiro no Hi or Respect-for-the-Aged Day, a time to honor elders in our communities, particularly those who have reached the respected age of 100 years or older.

To recognize this day, Yamada inducted Gene Caselli of Winters into the 8th Assembly District “Century Circle” on Sept. 18.

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada

“It is my sincere privilege to honor Mr. Gene Caselli, a longtime Winters resident and farmer,” stated Yamada. “Our elders have sacrificed so much to lay the foundation for future generations, and it is important for all of us to recognize their contributions.”

Since 1966, Keiro no Hi has been celebrated as a national holiday in Japan, a day to honor centenarians and all older adults. In 2010, Yamada launched the 8th Assembly District “Century Circle” to identify centenarians year-round in Solano and Yolo counties. This district program helps bring attention to the growing number of people 100 years of age and older, their families, and those who care for them.

Caselli is the 57th centenarian to receive recognition since the program began. According to the Department of Finance population projections, California is home to more than 6,000 centenarians.

Born in 1912, Caselli met his wife, Marion, in San Jose in 1937. The Casellis moved to Winters in 1955, where Mr. Caselli and his brother began growing apricots, peaches, oranges, and walnuts on 80 acres. The couple has been married for 75 years, and they have three children: David Caselli, Margene VanWagtendonk, and Stephen Caselli. Gene turned 100 this year.

If you or a loved one would like to participate in the “Century Circle,” contact the district office at (707) 455-8025 or email with the name, contact, and birthday month for the centenarian celebrant.

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