Looking forward to 101: Middleboro senior celebrates huge milestone

Sep 14, 2023

MIDDLEBORO — Wearing a birthday crown and sash, and surrounded by friends, family and balloons, Middleboro resident Ruth Calhoun celebrated her 100th birthday in style.

“I’m doing just great and I’m getting lovely gifts,” Calhoun said. “You should all live to be one hundred.”

Calhoun grew up in North Adams during the great depression. “We had a big family,” Calhoun said. “Men were on the streets trying to find a place where they could get a job. They hung signs around their neck saying that they wanted a job.”

As a young adult, Calhoun dove into her studies during high school and college. “I loved learning the French language, and I loved literature. I was a great reader,” she said. “I still am. They’ve got a great library here.”

Calhoun’s favorite book was the Bible, she said, and she was also reading a collection of biographies about famous people.

In high school, Calhoun met her late husband. “We had a wonderful marriage until he died,” she said.

Religion also played a big role in Calhoun’s life. “The thing closest to my heart is my prayer group,” Calhoun said. “I started forty years ago. There used to be so many people coming to my house that they had to sit on my floor in order to attend. Now there are only four of us left, but the prayer group is still meeting.”

Calhoun’s birthday party was held in the Nemasket Healthcare Center’s activity room on Wednesday, September 13th. When Calhoun entered the room, she was greeted with loud shouts of “happy birthday” from her friends at the center who were waiting to celebrate with her.

Her son, Joe Calhoun, was at the party, and other members of her family joined her through a Zoom conference call.

“She’s so wonderful,” said one of Calhoun’s friends at the Center, Catherine Levine. “Only kind words come from her.”

“I’ve known her for many years,” said Paula Vlachos, another one of Calhoun’s friends. “She’s a sweetheart.”

Staff at the nursing home had filled the room with balloons with the number 100 on them. Cake was served, and Calhoun’s friends came forward to wish her congratulations. Some of her friends at the Center had brought her cards and other gifts.

Calhoun said it was important for younger generations to get an education like she did. It “should be the top thing on the agenda in homes to try to get an education for the kids,” she said.

Later in the day, Calhoun had a smaller gathering with additional members of her family.

 “I’m looking forward to one hundred and one,” she said.