BONHAM — Centenarians are an elite group of people who have achieved the age of 100 or older. In the United States, official figures from 2010 estimate that there were 70,490 such individuals at that time, approximately one centenarian per every 4,400 people.
A super-centenarian has reached the age of 110, and Ruth Moore Waterman of Bonham is quickly approaching that status. On Saturday, Mrs. Waterman turned 108, but celebrated her birthday Friday at the Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home in Bonham where she now resides.
“Granny,” as Mrs. Waterman is lovingly called by staff, friends and family, was dressed for her special day. Her floral purple and pink outfit and hair accented with a bright flowers, matching the giant birthday cake and roses that served as centerpieces for her birthday table. Staff members were busy cooking hamburgers and others readying the area for the arrival of special guest, Congressman Ralph Hall, later in the day. As far as the honoree, she was quiet, watching the activity around her, occasionally smiling for the camera and receiving lots of congratulations, hugs and kisses from staff members. According to the staff, there are days Granny doesn’t talk much and Friday was one of those days.
Julie Kinard, one of the registered nurses caring for Mrs. Waterman, smiled brightly at her cherished ward. She said that Mrs. Waterman takes very few medications and still moves herself around the home in her wheelchair.
“She’s always told us that the secret to her long life is not having any children,” said Kinard. “We just wish we could bottle up whatever she has so that we all could live this many years.”
Mrs. Waterman was born in Minco, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), on June 16, 1904. Her late husband, Frank C. Waterman of Durant, Okla., served in the Signals Operation battalion in the United States Army during World War II and died in the late 1970s. Mrs. Waterman cared for her mother, Sallie Moore, in her Bonham home until Mrs. Moore’s death at 105. Mrs. Waterman continued to live alone until 2006 when she checked herself in to the Clyde Cosper home.