Heritage resident celebrates 99 years
By KEVIN CEDERSTROMkcederstrom@parkrapidsenterprise.com Ruth Rooney has spent her life in and around the Park Rapids area, and that life spans much longer than most. On Monday, Ruth celebrated her 99th birthday with family and friends at Heritage...
By KEVIN CEDERSTROM
Ruth Rooney has spent her life in and around the Park Rapids area, and that life spans much longer than most.
On Monday, Ruth celebrated her 99th birthday with family and friends at Heritage Living Center. The mother of 10 once was a well-known figure at the Park Rapids bakery on Main Street where she worked the counter for many years, her daughter Joyce Hoefs recalled.
“Everybody knew her and would ask for the short gal that worked behind the counter,” Joyce said. “The owners would have special days where people were invited to come in and have coffee and cake with Ruth, because people liked her so well.”
Ruth and her late husband, Roland, farmed five miles south of town when times were tough. Always quick with a one-liner, Ruth had quite the sense of humor, commented Joyce.
“She would have us all in stitches,” Joyce added.
Joyce recalled one time in particular recently where Ruth’s wit was as sharp as ever. Joyce signed for some meds and Ruth asked, “How much?”
“I said they’re free,” Joyce recalled. “And mom said, ‘Well, it can’t get any less than that.’”
Joyce and sister, Marilyn Wattenhofer, were on hand to help their mother celebrate Monday.
Marilyn is the second of the 10 children – eight girls and two boys. Joyce is number six and the first of the children to be born at the old Park Rapids hospital. Marilyn and the other four older siblings were all born at home.
Marilyn recalls the stories of the home births where Roland would go get Dr. Higgs. And with four of them born in the winter, one joke passed along in the family was operators had to get the snow plows out because Mrs. Rooney was having another baby.
Ruth has been living at Heritage Living Center for just about one year.