Three Centenarian Sisters Reunite After a Decade Apart
It is a unique distinction to live to be 100 years old. At age 101, Rose could tell you what being a centenarian is like. But she’s not the only one in her family with a century’s worth of stories to tell—her sister Ruth is 104, and their sister Rubye is 110.
Rose grew up on a farm in rural Oklahoma alongside her sisters and three brothers. As children, they learned the value of hard work and stayed busy helping their parents on the farm. As they grew up, the siblings moved away and settled in different places to build their lives. Rose moved away to Arkansas, and sometime after, she was offered a job with the Treasury Department and moved to Washington, DC.
While working in Washington D.C., Rose met her future husband, Eugene, an MIT-educated chemical engineer and Lieutenant in the Army. After Rose and Eugene had two children together, Rose transitioned out of the workforce and dedicated her time to being a homemaker.
Her daughter Janet recalls that her mother was always busy, whether participating in numerous garden clubs, volunteering at their church, doing impeccable seamstress work, or cooking up her favorite recipes for the family to enjoy.
Rose’s family is incredibly tight-knit, and they have stayed in touch throughout the years.
“We were always close, my sisters,” Rose said. “If you needed something, downright, they helped you. They were good, wonderful sisters; they’ve been good to me all my life.”
But with Rose now in Florida, Ruby in Rhode Island, and Ruth in Oklahoma, the miles between them made it hard to be together in person. Over ten years passed since they last saw each other at a gathering to celebrate Rubye’s 100th birthday.
Nothing compares to the feeling of embracing a loved one in person. So, when we heard Rose’s story, we jumped at the opportunity to help the “Centennial Sisters” reconnect again. Finally, they gathered in Rhode Island for a heartfelt family reunion at Rubye’s home.
Wish of a Lifetime’s founder Jeremy Bloom even joined the momentous occasions to celebrate the three wonderful centenarians. “When I heard about this wish, I said I will be there no matter what,” he explained. “I could not miss meeting these three beautiful women; you are all heroes to me and our society.”
The reunion was full of warmth and laughter. Ruth and Rosie were full of tears and gratitude as they sat holding their eldest sister Rubye’s hands. They expressed how they felt to be by Rubye’s side at age 110.
“It feels wonderful,” Ruth said tearfully. “I never thought I would see my sisters again. And this beautiful wish has made it possible. It’s just beyond words to be together at this age in life.”
“She was the smartest one in the family,” Rosie said, holding Rubye’s hand. “If I had a problem, I always went to her, and she always straightened me out.”
They spent the day sharing favorite stories with their family and reminiscing on their full lives. And the day was made even sweeter by the presence of five-month-old Leela, the first great-grandchild of the family.
A family member asked them, “How does it feel to be 100 years old and still be sisters, joking and having a happy time together?”
“Well, you know, few people live to be this old,” Ruth said, with a laugh. “So, we don’t know how we’re supposed to feel!”
Their story received national attention with an article in People Magazine and an interview with PR Newswire.
“I could not have dreamed that I would be with both of my sisters,” said Rose in the interview. “Given our ages and the fact that we live so far apart, this is truly a Wish of a Lifetime. I am excited beyond words to share this time with them.”