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Lodi Lifer Loves Borough 90 Years Later

Louise Bonetti Downing.
Louise Bonetti Downing. Photo Credit: Facebook

LODI, N.J. — Ninety years of traveling the world hasn't changed the fact that Lodi is the place to be for lifelong resident Louise Bonetti Downing, 90 years old this month.

Downing's only extended absences came from trips to foreign lands such as Europe and the Caribbean Islands.

And each time, she was happy to return home.

"I liked it all but I always enjoyed coming back to Lodi," Downing told Daily Voice.

Downing's favorite part of her home for nine decades is the people.

"They're very close, they're very happy people," she said. "... The people who have been established here for quite awhile, they are exceptionally warm, lovable people."

Downing helped run Brake-O-Rama on Route 46 in Lodi for nearly 40 years before retiring.

In retirement she stays close with her family while traveling. Downing visited every sate in "the Union" plus Europe, South America, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Italy was her favorite stop, she said.

Her heart remained in Lodi, however. Downing stays in touch with her neighbors in large part through Facebook.

She stays active posting on a group page reminiscing about Lodi memories and asking the community to share their own.

"I love the Facebook page," she said.

Though her zip code hasn't changed, that doesn't mean Lodi is the same as 90 years ago. The size of the borough is the biggest difference from Downing's childhood, she said.

"I think there was no more than 500 people, but now there's [24,000]," she said. "But it's a great place. It's a place I would recommend to anyone."

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