Lake Havasu Woman Celebrates 103rd Birthday Today

Lake Havasu Woman Celebrates 103rd Birthday Today
Becky Maxedon / 04 Sep 2023 / 7 Comments » Comments

By Becky Maxedon

In 1920, the era known for roaring saw the Treaty of Versailles take effect, officially ending World War I. Prohibition began with the Eighteenth Amendment going into effect. The Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right of vote was passed. And the first domestic radio sets came to stores in the U.S. at the cost of $10, followed soon after by KDKA (AM) of Pittsburgh beginning to broadcast as a commercial radio station.

But that’s not all that happened in 1920.

Ruby Dell Wood was born Sept. 4, 1920. She celebrates her 103rd birthday today.

RiverScene Magazine

Ruby Wood poses for a photo for her 103rd birthday. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Wood grew up in Richmond, Ind., with five brothers and sisters.

Her mother died at 36 when Wood was 7, leaving her 40-year-old father to care for the family.

“My dad kept us all together and raised us in a brand new house,” she said of her three brothers and two sisters. Her youngest brother passed away at 95, leaving Wood as the last sibling.

“I married when I was 20 and was married to the same man for 58 years,” she said. The couple had two sons and one daughter. Her youngest son David, who is 75, takes care of her in her Lake Havasu City home.

Her oldest son was in an automobile accident when Wood was 51 and she took care of him until he passed away. Her daughter died of skin cancer when she 63.

Wood said that growing up, it was very important that they all went to school.

“My dad had to buy all our books and all that. He was very sure that we were all in school. We all graduated from high school,” she said.

“My oldest brother was one of the first ones in our town to be called into service. He was supposed to graduate that year and he went in, and my dad went up and got his graduation diploma,” she said.

Wood graduated in 1938 and her husband graduated in ‘39.

“We met at the skating rink. He knocked me down and then he picked me up. He was the only man in my life. We were just meant for each other. We traveled. We did whatever we wanted to do.”

The couple traveled from Richmond, Ind., to Tucson where they worked on a ranch for a while. They moved around the Southwest and her husband got a job with the Metropolitan Water District out of California and worked at dams around the area.

The children went to school in Parker.

“I never worked. I helped a friend in her dress shop, and I earned $20. And that $20 messed me up. It didn’t do me any good, so I never thought about it again.”

Her sons both joined the military and her daughter moved to Los Angeles, Calif., where she worked as a dental assistant.

The couple bought a house in 1991 in Lake Havasu City and settled in.

“I’ve had friends that I’ve had all my life and they’re all gone now. That’s what happens when you get old, and you really miss them. We’d call each other and say well we’re gonna live to be 100. I’m the only one here.”

Wood has one granddaughter and one great grandson.

“They just recently moved to Michigan. I miss them,” she said.

When asked what she attributed her long life to, she said she really didn’t know the secret.

“I did drink coffee. I don’t really know the secret. I always loved God,” she said.

“It didn’t make any difference where I lived. And this is kind of interesting to me, wherever we were, I always started a little church – Sunday school wherever we lived ‘cause we lived in these little villages working at the dams, so I would take care of Sunday morning,” she said.

Wood’s advice for a long, happy marriage – “Well, I try to tell people now you have to really show love for each other. Not just do something because you’re his wife and you have to do it.

“There’s definitely a love thing there with emotion and even after (a spouse) is gone you miss that within you. It’s an emotion we all have and we all need it,” she said.

Words to live by. Happy 103rd birthday to Ruby Dell Wood.

Ruby Wood poses with her hairstylists Linda Pohlman and Barbara Stevenson right before her birthday. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene


7 Comments » Comments:

7 Responses to “Lake Havasu Woman Celebrates 103rd Birthday Today”

  1. Judi Bush says:

    A very special Happy Birthday Ruby.

  2. Nicole says:

    Happy Birthday Ruby! I hope you had a wonderful day!

  3. Shirley schoenherr says:

    Happy birthday lovely lady!!

  4. Jody K says:

    Happy Birthday Beautiful Ruby! 🎂🎈🎉

  5. Pamela Swenson says:

    I pray I have 29 more years ahead of me so I can turn 103! You look lovely and I can tell you always enjoyed the best of your life. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing your 104th birthday picture!

  6. Cynthia Murphy says:

    Happy Birthday. We lived next door to you at met! Went to school with the kids 😀the Murphy’s !

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