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Carbondale woman celebrates 103rd birthday

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ruth parker

CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- A Carbondale woman is turning 103-years-old on August 8th and efforts to avoid COVID-19 have canceled her special birthday tradition.

Carbondale resident Ruth Parker has been alive for more than a century. And now she's celebrating another milestone birthday: 103.

"(laughs) that I'm old (laughs). My legs don't work as good as they used to," she said.

She shared with News 3 what she attributes to her golden years.

"I really don't know except I worked hard all my life, kept busy. I don't smoke or drink…and God's my friend," she said.

The retired farmer moved to Carbondale 20 years ago. And found friendship through the local Taco Bell.

"I had never been in a Taco Bell and it was up where I got the newspaper at Walmart and so I thought I'd just stop in there. And they said well they didn't sell coffee but some of the help brought instant coffee and they'd be glad to make me a cup of coffee," she said.

Her relationship with the restaurant has been so nice, they've made a special table for her. And she's had birthday parties there for the last few years.

"It's good to have friends…and good kids," she said.

Because of the threat of COVID-19, she is celebrating at her Liberty Village apartment without the gathering. And is hopeful the community can send her birthday cards.

But that's not all she wants this year.

"All I'm asking for is better legs…hahaha," she said.

Parker has lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic, three economic depressions and 18 U.S. Presidents.

She also received 250 birthday cards when she turned 100 and hopes to top that by next Saturday.

You can send her cards to this address:

2950 Westridge Place
Carbondale, IL 62901

Maya Skinner

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