By: Angel Ellis, Director
Like others in her family Ruth Presley Keys is enjoying her longevity and heritage. She turned 100 years young, and is not the first centenarian in the family. She is the last of seven siblings, two of which lived to be 99 and 100 years old.
She along with family and friends celebrated her birthday and centenarian status on April 1. April fools jokes aside, Keys who was born in Oktaha, Oklahoma in 1921 is happy and grateful to have lived this long according to her daughter J. Keys.
Keys grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma then moved to California in her 20’s where she is currently living.
Initially, she worked as a welder on a naval ship, alongside her sister. Later on, she worked at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles until retirement in 1986.
Her daughter said, “In those days, she left home for work in the dark early mornings and was a diligent employee.”
She was talented in crafts and sewing. In her retirement years, she continued making amazing meals for family and friends, who often encouraged her to open a restaurant, but she preferred cooking for the joy of it. “Fan” favorites include her gumbo, apple pies and chocolate cakes.
Keys has four children, seven grandchildren, a host of great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren to whom she enjoys passing on her wisdom, humor and advice.
Keys enjoys talking on the phone, having family visits, coloring, and watching television, especially Westerns.
Her daughter said, “She doesn’t mind when you ask if she was around when we had the horse and buggy.”
She is also proud of her roots as a Muscogee (Creek) citizen and often talks about how she misses Oklahoma.
To celebrate her birthday, she will be showered with as much love as can be mustered from a distance.
‘There were blown masked kisses waving signs about how wonderful she is and her favorite foods on the table,’ her daughter said. ‘Anything she wanted the sky’s the limit.’
Ruth is still in her own home in the company of her family who enjoy her conversation, and she is still the boss of everyone.
Her family wishes her a “Happy 100th and many more.”
Keys is also the very proud great-aunt of the Presley children, Brandee, Brennan, and Braylin featured recently in the Mvskoke News for their achievements in sports.