On Friday July 24, 2009 Marshall, Minnesota made state history. A resident at the Avera Marshall Morningside Heights Care Center turned 110 years old and the Center threw her a super birthday party fit for a Super-Centenarian. We were in Marshall to celebrate Ruth Anderson!
When Ruth turned 110 years old she became the oldest living person in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the oldest living twin in the world. Sadly, her twin brother Abel died shortly after his first birthday. Ruth's friends, family and caregivers aren't surprised she's lived this long.
Susan Norgaard is one of her granddaughters and a Certified Nurse Practitioner at the Affiliated Community Medical Center in Marshall. She says, "I think her positive attitude has been her biggest attribute. She doesn't complain about anything, she stays positive no matter what comes her way and she's always been a really hard worker."
They had some vintage pictures up of Ruth and her siblings growing up on their farm in rural Balaton, MN. One shows Ruth driving the team on the families hay stacker.
Ruth was born in 1899 and William McKinley was our 25th President. To put some perspective on that, Barack Obama is our 44th. She was 12 when the Titanic sank. She's lived through so much history... and here she is making it.
Ruth doesn't feel or look like she's 110 year old. She laughs, "Well, I don't know what 110 is supposed to look like."
So what is her secret to longevity? A few people offered a few theories on that. Her retired doctor thinks her sheltered life undoubtedly protected her from things like the deadly 1918 Flu Epidemic and the Meningitis Epidemic during the war. She was never immunized as a child (because vaccines weren't invented yet), but she also wasn't exposed to large groups of people.
Dr. C. Paul Martin says, "Honestly, the real secret is conception when her genes were put together by her parents. It's not romantic, but it's realistic."
110 balloons were released in honor of Ruth's 110 years of life. She takes in all in stride. For her the fuss is appreciated, but not necessary. We should all be so blessed to have such a good home, good genes, and such a good long loving life.
Happy Birthday Ruth!
Ruth didn't get married until she was 60. Her husband George was 41, but has since died. She has 4 step sons, 17 grandchildren and 35 great grandchildren. Many of them came from all over the country to celebrate her accomplishment over the weekend.