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Spirited and giving, Ruth Boseck turns 100 years old

MADISON – Ruth Oliver Boseck of Madison celebrated her 100th birthday on Oct. 15.

‘Mrs. Ruth,’ as most people know her, was born in Mooresville in 1917, youngest of three girls. “Her father ran the local general store. Her parents were founding members of Mooresville Church of Christ,” granddaughter Terri Bryson said.

Until 1937, Mrs. Ruth lived in Mooresville when she married her husband John and moved to Belle Mina. He became Superintendent of Auburn Experimental Station, while she served as postmistress, first in Mooresville and later in Belle Mina. She retired at 72 years old.

“Standing only 4 feet, 9 inches tall, Mrs. Ruth has always been an active little lady. She worked a garden and canned vegetables for her large, extended family until 2013,” Bryson said.

Ever Sunday, she cooked dinner for a local preacher, family and guests — sometimes numbering 15 people. This weekly ritual was “one of her greatest claims to fame until she turned 94,” Bryson said.

Mrs. Ruth’s son Fred Boseck of Madison retired as a state employee and daughter Frances Graves of Decatur retired as an educator.

Mrs. Ruth’s six adult grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren all call her “G-Mom, which stands for ‘great,’ as in a great ‘mom’ and ‘grandmother,'” Bryson said. Known for Christian service; Mrs. Ruth “cared for the sick, raised nieces and visited those in need. Her reputation for excellent meals, impressive flower gardens and abundant vegetables is renowned.”

After John passed away in 1979, she remained in Belle Mina until 2005 when she moved to Madison to a cottage that her son built from timber milled on John’s farm. She drove to Decatur and Athens weekly until she voluntarily hung up her car keys at age 90.

Every Friday, Mrs. Ruth continues to have “her hair done,” and she attends worship services twice on Sunday. She lives with her granddaughter DeAnne Boseck, who works as Testing Director and Elementary Counselor at Madison Academy.

A cancer survivor, Mrs. Ruth surprised doctors to return home twice from nursing home care. She’s known for her tenacious and resilient toughness, along with compassion and generosity. “She’s more likely to carry her walker around than to use it,” Bryson said.

“In her entire life, she has never worn black. The love of her life, husband John, preferred her in pastels, so that’s all she’s ever worn,” Bryson said.

Mrs. Ruth attends Greenbrier Church of Christ. Her grandson-in-law John Bryson is minister and Dean of Students at Madison Academy.

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