104!Brookdale centenarian looks back on a healthy, loving life

May, 2018 Posted in Community, Other, People

By Mary Owen

Happy birthday, Myrtle Ruth Carter!IMG_1828 The Stayton resident celebrated 104
years of life on April 14 with family and friends.

“My granddaughter, Christie Beitel, put on a luncheon here at the Coca-Cola room,” said Carter, who lived in her own apartment in Sweet Home before moving to Brookdale in Stayton last August. “My daughter, Eileen, came and my friend, Judy. Christie’s family and the grandchildren came, too. We had a nice lunch – and cake! I got lots of flowers and cards.”

Before moving to the Brookdale residence, Carter did all her own laundry, housekeeping and cooking. A fall that rendered her in need of oxygen therapy led to her move, but she says, “It’s hard not to be in my own apartment.”

Carter admitted her life wasn’t always easy.

“There were challenges to being a young mother,” she said. “I didn’t have a lot of money. I wasn’t the ‘best mother,’ and I regret that. But I love my baby – I still call her that – even though she is going to be 90 this year!

“The best part was when she was born,” she added. “I adored her so much, and I still do. I gave birth to her at home. My husband and I lived in a cabin without electricity or running water. I was only 14 years old!”

Surprised that she has lived to be 104, Carter credits her longevity to an active lifestyle. Since she didn’t drive, she walked everywhere and had always worked. Her challenge now is that she is deaf, a condition that, she said, “isolates me.”

“I ate fairly healthy, in moderation, didn’t drink or smoke,” she said of the lifestyle that got her past the century mark. “God takes care of me, and he will decide how long I will live.” Jokingly, she added, “I didn’t always look like this!”

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