September 30, 2020

Birthday party for 109-year-old postponed

UPDATE: This event has been postponed to sometime after April 30 due to the threat of COVID-19. Keep checking the Yorktown Independent for the rescheduled date.

Earlier: A birthday party for a very special lady will be held this Saturday, and the community is invited to help celebrate this rarest of occasions.

Ruth Maness will be turning 109 years old on March 16, according to her granddaughter, Debbie Hoopingarner.

Hoopingarner said some relatives and friends are coming from her grandmother’s home state of North Carolina for the party, but the community is welcome as well.

“My grandmother is a very special woman,” she said. “If I had to pattern my life after anyone, it would be her.”

Hoopingarner said Maness attributes her longevity to “good eating and hard work.” She still enjoys cooking, with help, and can still walk with her walker. She also enjoys getting her hair done once a week, going out to lunch afterward and talking about the old times.

Maness lived a simple life growing up in North Carolina, Hoopingarner said. She was working in a hosiery mill when she met her eventual husband, a brickmason. They were married for nearly 68 years until his death in 1993.

“She just loves to talk about the old times,” Hoopingarner said. “She likes to talk about the canning she used to do, because they grew their own vegetables, her and my grandfather.”

Maness also taught Sunday school, went fishing and more. “My grandmother lived a very simple life, a very country life,” Hoopingarner said.

Maness moved here about 20 years ago to be closer to her family, owning a condo in Kiln Creek at first. She now lives with Hoopingarner, who cares for her as well as for her own mother, Maness’ daughter.

Hoopingarner said she and her family are looking forward to Saturday’s event, which was organized by members of the community who wanted to help her do something special.