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'Consistently happy' - Arkansas woman turns 102

Ruth's family and the staff at Van Buren Health and Rehab say she is a very special person, bringing smiles to everyone she meets. 💗

VAN BUREN, Ark. — A Van Buren woman is celebrating a big milestone this year!

Ruth Hartoon turned 102-years-old on April 3 and her family says through the years, she has stayed "consistently happy."

Though she is unable to communicate verbally, staff at Van Buren Health and Rehab say Ruth always brings smiles to those around her. 

Hartoon was born in Stuttgart, Arkansas and lived there until her husband, Cliff, returned from World War 2. The couple and their two sons then moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma where Ruth gave birth to their third child, a girl. 

Cliff enlisted in the army so his family could be with him on assignments. He was placed at Fort Chaffee, near Fort Smith, Arkansas. It became their home base between assignments.

Ruth's family says they made plentiful gardens together and that she often bordered the garden with flowers. After Cliff passed, Ruth gave up vegetable gardening, but kept growing beautiful flowers. The flowers were placed in vases all through the house.

Her family says she was a good cook but an even better crafter. She is described as an "avid quilter," gifting everyone in the family with a quilt of their own. 

Ruth also loved her church family and participated in the women’s quilting group. She sewed the quilt's top while other members finished the quilts. Ruth spent many wonderful hours with her friends at St. Luke Church.

Ruth began to need assistance with things around the house and shopping when she was 85. Shortly after, her family says she started to experience dementia. 

After living with her daughter and son-in-law for four years, she was placed at Van Buren Health and Rehab, which is where she celebrated her birthday!

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