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Ruby Ratterree, 100-years and counting

Pastor Darius Wentz and Shelby Breedlove
present Ruby Ratterree with a vase of flowers.
Ruby Ratterree, 100-years and counting
By Shari Harris,
New Life Free Will Baptist Church celebrated a special member of their congregation on Sunday, June 9. Ruby Ratterree was able to make the trip from Houston House, where she has lived for many years, to the church in Licking where her 100th birthday (which was Tuesday, June 11), was announced.
Ruby Ratterree hasn’t led what most would call an easy life. Born with cerebral palsy, Ruby is not able to walk. Her older brother carried her to school when she was young, but as she grew, the task became too much for him and she had to stop going to school.
Ruby’s father died when she was young, and she went into a nursing home at the age of 57. Nearly 43 years have passed since then.
Looking at this meager description of Ruby’s life may make it seem like a bleak existence, but it has been anything but that. This is just a description of her obstacles, not her successes.
When you enter Ruby’s room at Houston House, you may think you are visiting for her benefit, but Pastor Darius Wentz assured the congregation that you will quickly see the blessing of the visit will be yours. Ruby’s walls are covered with Biblical sayings and pictures of Jesus. Ruby doesn’t have “bad” days, and is up daily at four a.m. to pray for others, until breakfast at eight a.m.
Her caregivers report she may need help getting into her wheelchair, but then she does everything possible for herself. She never complains about her circumstances, instead serving others. In addition to being a prayer warrior, Ruby uses a sewing machine in her room to make dresses for Haitian children.
Last year, Pastor Wentz decided he wanted to have the church remodeled before Ruby’s 100th birthday. Ruby’s daily prayers for her church were answered, and she was able to see the remodeling when she attended Sunday.
Reaching 100-years-of-age is an inspiration; reaching it despite the crippling effects of cerebral palsy is even more so. Living the life of service without complaint which Ruby Ratterree has led may better be described as saintly. Ruby simply said, “I’ve had a good life.”
Happy birthday, Ruby!


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