Woman told ‘It Couldn’t Be Done’ celebrates her 100th birthday

Marcella Van Zeeland
(Photo: WBAY)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Green Bay woman celebrated a milestone birthday.

Marcella Van Zeeland turned 100 years old this week.

Tuesday, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt presented her with a proclamation.

She also received a blessing from Father Carl Schmitt, the mayor’s brother.

And she was serenaded by a barbershop quartet, Juke Box, featuring the mayor’s other brother, Bill Schmitt.

Van Zeeland didn’t offer any secret to a long life but told us a lot of it was focused on being a good Catholic.

She told us about a difficult time after her husband died in the 1960’s, leaving her to run the business, and being a businesswoman in those days came with its share of criticism and doubters. Asked how she proved the naysayers wrong, she recited from Edgar Albert Guest’s poem, “It Couldn’t Be Done.”

“Somebody said that it couldn’t be done / But he with a chuckle replied / That ‘Maybe it couldn’t,’ but he would be one / Who wouldn’t say so ’til he’d tried. / So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin / On his face. If he worried, he hid it. / He started to sing as he tackled the thing / That couldn’t be done, and he did it.”


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