All posts by Fifty Five Plus


Gloria Marie Linfante-Makowski, was born in Jersey City, NJ in 1931. “I had an older sister and brother, who was a P-51 Fighter-Pilot. I was greatly impressed with women in military uniforms and decided that’s what I wanted to do.” “While fi nishing school I worked in an offi ce in NYC. After graduation in 1949, I worked for Prudential in Union City, NJ, but I knew what I really wanted to do and one day there was an AF recruiter in the lobby”.

“I needed a parent’s signature on the application. My Dad considered the educational benefits and signed for me. My Mother was hysterical, cried and begged me not to go. How could a nice Italian girl leave her family to join “those women!” I survived Basic Training and went to Ft. Snelling AFB, MN with 10 other WAF. We were the first WAF’s at the Base”.

“I was a secretary to the Base Adjutant. One day I was told to report to the CO promptly. I was shocked to see Ella Raines, a movie star in the 40s-50s. Her husband was Gen. Robin Olds. She was recruiting women for Officer Candidate School. I received my gold bars in Sept. 1953, Class 53C.”

“I married Henry Makowski, a B-47 pilot in 1956. I resigned in June 1957 to remain with my husband. We spent our remaining service years at various Bases including 4 years in Japan. Henry retired in 1974 and we came to Satellite Beach. I worked at SB Police Station, a Realty Office and then began working at Patrick AFB.”

“In my PAFB job, I occasionally sailed missions in the Bering Sea during the “Cold War.” I had the opportunity to see AF friends in Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Virginia, etc. thanks to my job.“

“After retiring in 1996 I joined the Retired Officers Association and scheduled members to speak at various local organizations. For 15 years, I volunteered in concessions at the King Center.”

“I enjoyed several trips to Europe, including my parent’s homeland in Sicily. On one trip, 20 years ago, I lost my group. The bus was leaving! Where was it? I asked a vendor. He no “spica da enlish”. “I do”, said a man buying a paper and he pointed where the bus had dropped off the group. I started running! I hear a put-put-put sound. The handsome Italian man came to my rescue. “Hop on—I take you.” Bada Bing, Ba-da boom – I hopped on and we rode around and around — no bus. He had to go to work. I hopped off and began walking, suddenly the tour guide popped out. I asked her “didn’t she see me go by a couple of times”? “I wasn’t looking for you on a scooter!” Years later, while in
Egypt, I asked my friend to take a photo of me atop a camel sitting on the ground. The camel suddenly arose and took off racing by the pyramids with me yelling and my
friend yelling behind me!”

“I’ve had many flights in military planes, on orders or just catching a “hop” on leave to desired destinations, provided a parachute was available for me. A parachute was required but I never used one. Well – life has become a bit dull. So, on my 80th birthday, I did a tandem sky dive and repeated it on my 85th. It was sensational!”

Welcome New Members

Maria Bernal
Cay Carrubba
Sandy Coleman
Susan Connolly
Suzanne DiCamillo
Donna Dodge
Pat Estes
Mary Garretson
Belle Graziano
Debra Henningsen
Kathleen Jones
Patricia Jumper
Soolay Kantz
Ed Kunigonis
Gigie Kunigonis
Christine McMurtrie
Irene Robey
Marianne Sinclair
Annie Marie Spaargaren
Alice Tarpley
Elizabeth Tarsha
Rose Marie Wiley


DINNER GANG: Thank you to Barbara Hessler who has stepped up as the Dinner Gang Chairperson, along with her many hats! The group will meet on:

  • May 7, 2019 at Melo’s on Eau Gallie
  • June 4th at Palm Shores Bistro at 5:30pm.

It is important to respond, so please RSVP to Barbara at 321/773-3050. Thank you to Floss Orr for her many, many years being the chairperson for the Dinner Gang group.

GARDEN GROUP: met on March 11th and Nick Sanzone, the city’s Environmental Programs Coordinator, came to speak on the garden area at The Logos Community Garden located at DeSoto Park. The group met again on April 8th and worked on the garden area #14 that needed weeding. The May 13th meeting at the DRS will focus on gardening questions and on June 10th they will meet at the garden site. Be sure to join them! Contact Gene O’Connell at 321/773-4647 to fi nd out summer meeting location.

WALKING: Thank you to Gigie Kunigonis for stepping up to assist on Wednesday & Thursday and to Jean Iorio for taking Tuesdays. Walking time is 8:00am to 9:30am and will continue through May. There will be NO walking in June, July & August. Walking will return in some capacity in Sept. Questions – contact Gigie at 321/693-0520 or Jean 321/626-0835.

MOVIE GROUP: is back! Join them on the last Tuesday of the month. Movie time to be announced and maybe lunch afterwards. For May 28th, RSVP to Louise Daley at 321/427-9100 or

EVENT PLANNER: Thank you to Phyllis Principe’ and Marianne Sinclair for stepping up to the plate to help the club with this task. The ladies are busy working on events for the remainder of 2019 and before this year is over, they will have a whole line up for 2020!


Time changes, cancellations or some facility alterations of some monthly activities will take place this summer. So please note & save:

  • Bingo – does not meet Memorial Day May 27
  • Basic Line Dance – meets at the Civic Center, 1pm, June 6 & June 13
  • Tues. Line Dance – June 4 and 11 will meet at the DRS Center from 10-11am
  • Book Club – does not meet June, July & August
  • Dinner Gang – New contact Barbara Hessler 321/773-3050
  • Thurs. Cards & Games meets in Game Room ONLY. Does not meet Thurs. July 4th.
  • Gardening Group – meets at Community Garden June 10th
  • Walking – will continue on Tues, Wed. & Thurs. through May. There will be NO walking June, July & August. Walking will resume in Sept. in some capacity.


Join the grand opening for the Desoto Field, 499 DeSoto on May 4th from 9-11am. Explore the exercise equipment and walking trail. Breakfast for purchase from Wicked Pineapple and kick off the event with a free Zumba class by Rochelle! Free blood pressure checks and an exercise challenge with prizes!


Monday Bingo has been running well under the new leadership of Anna Fake. Thank you to Anna and her Bingo team! The Garage Sale was a big success and netted $451 and a raffle was held through the month of March for a chance to win a wonderful basket filled with everything Italian!!! The drawing was held Monday March 25th and the winner of the Italian basket was Rita DeLuca. Congratulations! Proceeds from the garage sale and raffle basket have gone to help give bingo the financial boost it very much needed.

We want to thank ALL of the many members who graciously and generously donated items to sell at the Garage Sale. There are too many names to list that donated. We do want to thank those who worked that day either setting up, selling, or cleaning up at the end. It was a beautiful day, but very, very hot and all were very tired! Thank you to Susie Dyer, Gail Ellis, Gail Sullivan, Dolores Tabor, Meldra Vicario, Jerry Russell, Sal & Michele Bevacqua, Joyce Scafidi, Louise Stevenson, Terry Mellon and Bonnie Donaldson.
We sincerely apologize if anyone was not mentioned. If you have questions regarding bingo or are available to assist in any way please contact Anna at 321/775-0227 or at NOTE: “No Bingo May 27th.