FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — In the 100 years local resident Ruth Waxter has been alive, she’s seen incredible change she probably never imagined.
When she was born Dec. 16, 1917, only 8 percent of people had access to phones, 6 percent graduated high school and the light switch was the biggest science breakthrough at the time.
Now, 80 percent have smart phones, the high school graduation rate is up to 80 percent and scientists are working on gene editing.
Her milestone birthday was honored Dec. 12, a few days early, at the Charles Place location of Forsyth County Senior Services, 595 Dahlonega St.
The party was packed with friends and family member who all spoke about how vivacious, spunky and fun Waxter is. She recited German phrases she memorized as a child and sang a song from a commercial when she was growing up.
“It feels normal (to turn 100),” Waxter said. “I don’t feel any older. I just do what comes naturally, nothing different.”
Stories were shared about Waxter being one of nine children, working her way through the academy she attended and eventually finding her husband, Frank, after crashing a party.
They married in 1941 and had two children, Lois and Tim.
Her daughter, now married as Lois Folkenberg, put together a slideshow of images and stories of her mother’s 100 years.
“She’s always been really active and I think that’s part of this,” Folkenberg said. “She said she had a positive attitude, was always happy and kept her prayers and faith in God.”
Waxter is so feisty she once outworked Folkenberg in the garden.
“She was 85 at the time,” she said. “It’s unbelievable. She was raised on a farm and knew hard work. She was able to dig right in and do it.”
As a family, Folkenberg said they did a lot of camping and Waxter had an adventurous outlook.
Unfortunately, in 2010 Frank her husband died at 95-years-old, just shy of their 69th wedding anniversary. He, too, wanted to make it to 100.
“I can only hope I can stay active, positive and reach that goal, as well,” Folkenberg said.
Waxter doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, at age 93 she rode the “Tail of the Dragon” in Tennessee which is 11 miles of road that has 318 curves, and at 96, she rode an air boat in Florida.
Her legacy will live on through her two children, six grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.