2 pandemics and 3 bouts of cancer later, lifelong Indy resident celebrates 105th birthday

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INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis woman who survived two pandemics, two world wars, the Great Depression, and beat cancer three times will celebrate her 105th birthday this weekend.

Ruth George was born at home in Indianapolis on July 11, 1915.

She was married to the love of her life, Joe, in 1940. Together, they raised four sons in Indianapolis, and they ran a slew of family businesses.

They were married for 39 years before he passed away in 1979. Ruth was 63 at the time, 

That same year, she was diagnosed with cancer for the first time. She beat it—and then she beat cancer two more times.

Ruth loves her family, and she refers to her sons as “the four buttons on the shirt.”

She also 14 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren, and 4 great great grandchildren.

Ruth lived independently until age 98 before she moved into a nursing home.

Ruth loves writing poetry, and her entire lifetime’s worth of work, “Of Faith and Family, Reflections,” was published when she was 102 years old.

She plays euchre, bingo, and other games at her facility, and she says she loves “the action.”

Ruth still goes to church at her facility every Sunday, but she says because of the echo, she has difficulty hearing the sermon. Her quote every Sunday is “It’s loud enough, but I cannot hear the words. I guess that’s old age.”

She’s currently battling loneliness since she is not allowed to see her family in person regularly because of the coronavirus.

Fortunately, the activities staff at her nursing home helps her video chat with her sons and grandchildren every Sunday.

You may be wondering what her secret to longevity is. She says, “deep faith in God, loves her family to no end, works hard, and sees the good in everyone.” Oh, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate!

Her family plans to celebrate her milestone birthday with a drive-by celebration at her nursing home on Saturday.

You can purchase Ruth’s book for $12 here. All proceeds go to her beloved church, St. George Orthodox Christian Church, 10748 E. 116th Street, Fishers, IN, 46037. This is a general link, so please type “Ruth George book” in the description field to get to the book.

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