Tibby Mazzola continues loving life at 95

Published 7:29 am Wednesday, November 6, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Watching three women sitting on a couch Saturday afternoon, one could watch the years fade away as they visited and giggled about secrets only they knew. They were celebrating a milestone and a momentous occasion, Tibby Mazzola’s 95th birthday.

Tibby, surrounded by family and friends, was quick to correct her friend Mary Guillot when Mary stated she was Tibby’s oldest friend.

“She is my best friend,” Tibby said with pride in her voice. “And this is Polly, my sister-in-law,” she added as she referred to the woman on her other side.

Originally from Church Point, Louisiana, Tibby moved to Orange in 1944 and worked as a nurse at Frances Ann Lutcher Hospital. 

“She married in 1947,” her son, Gil Mazzola, said.  

She and her husband, Bennie Mazzola Jr., had seven children.

“Back then, a woman did not have to work when she married,” Tibby said. 

Dawn Burleigh/The Orange Leader
With best friend Mary Guillot, left, and sister-in-law Polly Albright, right, Tibby Mazzola celebrates 95 years young on Saturday.

Three of her children have passed away as well as her husband, Dr. Bennie Mazzola III, Virginia Mazzola Luna, and Dr. Steven Mazzola. Her husband passed away in 1998.

“I never thought I would see the day, 95,” Tibby said with a smile as a grandchild leaned in to give her a birthday hug.

Tibby has 16 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. 

“The best part of living is feeling good,” Tibby said. “And all the loves from my beautiful children and all the grandchildren over the years.”

Gil, her son, described his parents as kind yet stern.

“I am thankful for the blessing of having a great family leader,” Gil said about his mother.

Tibby’s children, Gil, Liz Mazzola Oliva, Anita Mazzola Lane, and Gail Van der Maas helped Tibby celebrate on Saturday as Kay Mazzola, Dr. Steven Mazzola’s widow, opened her home to host the party.

Tibby is a nickname she was given because she was a Thibodeaux before she married into the Mazzola family.  Tibby is the only sibling out of nine left. However, she did not let that stop her from enjoying herself as she visited with each friend or family member who stopped to give her best wishes for her day.