Chicago centenarian owes longevity to cake and pie

Black-and-white photo of birthday cake topped with candles
Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock (Getty Images)

Chicago native Hillard Dominowski recently sent his daughter, Joan Rush, to the grocery store. He needed three things: milk, cake, and pie. “When people ask me what is my dad’s secret to old age, I just show them my dad’s shopping list. To me, it encapsulates my dad,” Rush told Block Club Chicago, laughing.


The local news source reports that Dominowski will celebrate his 100th birthday this Thursday alongside family and friends. Interestingly, Dominowski told Block Club that he never celebrated his birthday as a child, because his family was always too busy working. But now, Dominowski certainly has plenty to celebrate. The Chicago native has lived a rich life, hopping freight trains to other cities, working in Seattle shipyards, and even surviving Nazi capture in World War II. (“I never thought I’d get killed,” Dominowski told Block Club. “I thought, ‘I’ll survive this sucker. I’m going to beat it.’”) He also married the love of his life after squiring her around the city. “My brother let me take his car and we went for a ride. We ended up in Lincoln Park, smooching,” Dominowski told Block Club, smiling.

And while Dominowski has a few other secrets to living a long life—his hobbies include painting, solving crossword puzzles, building model ships, and reading—food seems to be central to his jovial existence. Case in point: every morning, Dominowski reportedly makes coffee for his daughter, then puts out a sign that says “coffee is ready” for when she wakes up. Now, that’s a jolly good fellow if I’ve ever seen one. Be sure to check out the full Block Club Chicago article for more info on Dominowski.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.



Fuck yeah cake. Cake all day every day. Cake cake cake.

Darn it; I thought if I said it three times some cake would magically appear. I guess it isn’t magical but it’s still magic. My mom used to make a divine angel food cake with royal icing (brittle on the surface). Fluffy cake with crunchy frosting is a perfect dessert.