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    Friday, January 27, 2023

    Groton woman celebrates 100 years

    Tomi Stanley, program supervisor at the Thrive55+ Active Living Center, hugs Ruth Adams as she celebrates her 100th birthday with friends at the the center Thursday, December 1, 2022. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Ruth Adams claps her hands as friends and family sing Happy Birthday as she celebrates her 100th birthday with friends from the Thrive55+ Active Living Center Thursday, December 1, 2022. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Ruth Adams reaches out to hug friend Linda Lemanski, president of the Thrive55+ Active Living Center, as they celebrate her 100th birthday Thursday, December 1, 2022. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Groton ― As soon as resident Ruth Adams walked through the door of the main room at Thrive 55+ Active Living Center on Thursday, a group of well wishers shouted “Happy birthday!”

    Adams waved and thanked them and joined her friends for a lunch to celebrate her turning 100 years old.

    Friends and staff members laughed as Adams cracked jokes, and they sang “Happy birthday” and enjoyed cake.

    “She’s a ball of fire,” said Wally Post, a longtime friend. “She’s just a lot of fun to have around.”

    Thrive 55+ Active Living Center Supervisor Mary Jo Riley said the center wanted to throw Adams a party to honor her for reaching the 100-year milestone. Riley said Adams is a great participant and comes to the center to watch Wii bowling and eat lunch.

    “I’ve known Ruth the 30 years I’ve been here, and she’s just a lot of fun, knows a lot of people, and really has always been, even up till now, an active member of the center, so once people reach that 100-year milestone we like to step up and celebrate with them,” Riley said.

    Adams was born in Devon and moved to Groton with her husband, who served 22 years in the Navy before retiring and going to work at Electric Boat. Adams worked at Sheffield Pharmaceuticals in New London and said she had a lot of fun working there: “You knew everybody,” she said.

    She and her husband traveled around the country, and she also took trips organized by the center, going to places such as Nantucket, Niagara Falls and Portugal.

    Adams said her secret to a long life is to “just live it and go have a good time.”

    Linda Lemanski, president of Club 55, the center’s service club, presented Adams with a lifetime membership in the club, which Adams joined about 50 years ago when it first began. Adams also received a $100 gift certificate to the center’s salon.

    Lemanski said she first started going to the center about 20 years ago when she became a widow. At that time, Adams was one of the people who reached out to her ― and Adams similarly has “reached out to everyone.” She said the center board decided it needed to do something really special for Adams, and a lot of people know Adams, whether from game nights, lunches, or bingo.

    “She’s just a great gal,” Lemanski said.

    Program Supervisor Cindy Olsen said that what makes Adams special is “her sass and gumption.“

    Frank Dalrymple, who first met Adams about a decade ago when they were Wii Bowling partners, said Adams always has a funny comment about everything: “She makes everybody laugh,” he said.

    k.drelich@theday.com

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