A Minnesota woman turned 110 years old on the same day that a woman in the same care facility turned 101.
Ruth Andreasen turned 110 at the Stewartville Care Center on Friday, making her one of the oldest people in Minnesota, said Sharon Bernard, the center's activities director. Andreasen shared her birthday party with Lucile Voeltz, who was turning 101.
Both women are still mentally alert and attribute their longevity in part to their faith, according to a Rochester Post-Bulletin report (http://bit.ly/XvWhaK).
The two ladies talked with reporters and smiled at the cards, gifts, balloons and flowers on their table. They especially seemed to relish the cake and ice cream.
Andreasen "is a special person to live to 110 and still be able to function," said Wilma Menshik, Andreasen's first cousin. "Sure, she needs a lot of help, but she knows who I am, she always says to tell George (Wilma's husband) 'hello' when I visit. That's outstanding."
Andreasen's daughter, Jane Hoeft, said her mother has nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren. Ruth Andreasen was born in 1903 and married a World War I veteran in 1923.
Hoeft said her mother believes she lived so long because "she never smoked, never drank and has a strong faith."
Voeltz beamed throughout the party. She had worked in a window-shade factory after World War II and later at a resort in Brainerd. She and her husband also ran a farm.
She has two children, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild due in March. Her daughter, Lois Esterrich, said Voeltz's secret to a long life was "living day-to-day with God."
Bernard is mentally acute and is a formidable competitor in the care center's games, Bernard said.
"She's very sharp," Bernard said. "She wins our spelling bees and our trivia contests."