Celebrating her 100th birthday at Bethany Village on Friday, resident Ruth Havens said the best part was being with good friends. Seated by her side was her kid sister and roommate, 96-year-old Virginia.


Celebrating her 100th birthday at Bethany Village on Friday, resident Ruth Havens said the best part was being with good friends. Seated by her side was her kid sister and roommate, 96-year-old Virginia.


 The two smiled as they talked back and forth, reading Ruth’s birthday cards — including one from the White House, signed by the President and First Lady. “You have led a remarkable life — and your experiences have contributed to the strength of our Nation. We join your family and friends in wishing you all the best on your special day,” the card said, signed George and Laura Bush.


“Being nice to people,” Ruth said, is the secret to long life. 


 “She’s a sweet lady. She has such a happy spirit. She’s gentle and she’s kind,” said Pam Zurad, Marketing Director for Bethany Village.


Standing before a full dining room, with three large silver balloons sharing Ruth’s age, Zurad shared the following:
“They call the age of 100 a milestone. Actually, it’s a vantage point—a peak from which you can look back on how far you’ve come, the lives you’ve touched, and how much you’ve accomplished. So take a deep breath and savor the beauty and your journey! Enjoy your century celebration!


Ruth was born on April 25, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents were Walter and Mary (Brady) Havens. Ruth was the middle sister of three. Laura, who is deceased, was Ruth’s older sister, and Virginia, Ruth’s younger sister, lives with Ruth at Bethany Village.


Ruth grew up in Brooklyn, but recalls fond memories of their summer home in Narrowsburg, New York. She says they spent a lot of time there, and it was a good life.
Ruth is of the Roman Catholic faith and has never married.
Ruth worked as a secretary her entire adult life, stating that she enjoyed it immensely. After retiring, Ruth and her sisters moved to Honesdale, where they resided in an apartment on Main Street for many years.


Ruth and Ginny moved to Bethany Village to live in June of 2000. The two sisters share a room at Bethany Village along with their beloved cat, Tippy.
Ruth says, ‘It’s been a good life.’”


As she celebrated with family and friends, a note of sadness crept in. There were those she missed at the table. “Mother, father and other sister, they’re all gone,” she said. Her mom, she said, came from Ireland at the age of four. Her dad worked in a ship yard, she said.  


April 25th was proclaimed Ruth Havens Day by the Wayne County Commissioners, Honesdale Mayor Jon Fritz, and Bethany Mayor Margaret Freeman. On hand to help the staff and residents sing happy birthday were four members of the Honesdale Barbershop Chorus, known as The Old Smoothies: Bob Hattler, Scottie Ogden, Dick Kreitner and Clyde Kreider.