Ruth Ripple: 107 years old, and counting | Local News

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On her 106th birthday last year, Ruth Ripple credited her longevity to working hard all of her life and to being willing to keep on “trucking.” 

Well, Ripple’s recipe for success has continued to serve her well as the Johnstown, Pa. native, who currently lives in Gasport, is preparing to celebrate her 107th birthday today. 

Born on Aug. 11, 1911. Ripple spent most of her childhood on her family’s farm where she learned to use a horse-driven plow at age 9.

She later worked as a machine operator at a Buser Silk Mill, where she was paid $7 a week to spin silk onto spools.

She also served as a cashier in the grocery section of Glosser Brothers Department Store before an injury forced her to leave her job. 

After meeting her husband, Carl Ripple, she focused on raising a family and the pair raised three children together before his passing in 1975. 

Ruth Ripple held a series of part-time jobs over the years, including stints as a babysitter for neighborhood families and a position in a local dry cleaning store, until she turned 99. 

Last year on her birthday, she recalled one of her favorite moments in her long life being a visit by President Franklin Roosevelt to Johnstown in 1936. Roosevelt came to the community to assess damage caused by floods at that time. 

Ripple did not offer up a favorite decade, saying only that she “made the best of everything.” 

In addition to staying busy, she suggested that staying away from alcohol and never smoking helped her stay healthier longer. 

Reflecting on the differences she observed between her generation and more recent generations she said: “in those days we did everything we were told to — and you didn’t sit around.”

 



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