“You know, it takes a long time to be 100,” Rod Moffett was once told by his mother, Ruth, a mother of five who marked this holiday season by starting her second century.
So where should Ruth celebrate her 100th birthday?
What could be more fitting than Joe’s Stone Crab, now also marking 100 seasons after its founding in 1913 as a small lunch counter on Miami Beach.
A 1:30 p.m. Saturday luncheon not only made Ruth Moffett’s Christmas special on Dec. 15 but brought several family members together for a weekend reunion, including three children and three of four grandchildren.
Born on Dec. 12, 1912, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, nearly a half-century later Ruth Deery would settle in Miami to complete raising her family with husband, John Moffett. She now enjoys retirement years at The Palace Renaissance in Kendall where she cut a post-luncheon birthday cake, remarking, “This is a great place for me. I have good food, family nearby and good friends. What else could I want?”
Joining their mom for her birthday were two of her three sons — Roderick of Miami and David of Orlando, and daughter Wendy Morris of New York City. Another son, Christopher, resides in Hawaii. A son, John, died in his youth, and Ruth’s husband passed away in 1986.
In recent years, Ruth made her home at Kings Creek but a Keys outing that resulted in a broken hip six years ago confines her to a wheelchair — no obstacle for her latest of many trips to Miami Beach.
She recalls summer visits during the 1920s with her sisters, Toddy and Edith, and a brother, Bud, an exceptional swimmer who earned pocket money playing water polo to entertain Beach hotel guests.
Ruth later traveled the world with her husband with stopping points in England and Turkey where John managed an Air Force Base Post Exchange before the couple returned to the U.S. and settled in New Jersey.
Recalling Miami’s appeal, the Moffetts left the frigid Northeast for a new home in Coral Gables in 1960.
“Just in time to experience Hurricane Donna,” Rod recalled.
After living in the Gables and Kendall for more than 50 years, Ruth Moffett begins her 101st year admitting to only one vice: Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum. Meanwhile, she attributes her longevity to her “live and let live” attitude that marks an easy-going, never complaining personality.
Keeping abreast of current affairs by reading The Herald each day, she decided she would vote for the first time in the recent Nov. 6 election — at 99 years of age.
Looking up with a cheerful laugh, she recently summed up how to live to be 100: “Stay happy and stay smiling.”