Ruby Mae Grant has met all the pastors throughout the years at her Perrine church built in 1919.
That’s because she was born in 1912.
“Mrs. Grant predates the inception of the church,” said Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Turner, senior pastor and teacher at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church. “And she’s been active as recently as two years ago.”
Grant is the oldest member of the oldest Missionary Baptist Church in West Perrine, and also the oldest living resident in her community, said Paulette Thomas at the church.
“She was president of the Senior Citizens Organization, a member of the Perrine Community Action Agency, and a member of Seniors of Dade County, Inc., as well,” Thomas said in email. “She has participated in the Martin Luther King Parades and has received more than 10 medals and honors in the Senior Citizen Olympic programs.”
Perhaps the key to Grant’s longevity is that she walked almost everywhere.
“She walked or took public transportation up until she was about 98 years old,” Turner said.
Her greatest honor included walking, said her church friends. She was one of the oldest pioneers in Perrine to walk the neighborhood collecting quarters to install streetlights in the community.
Born in Cairo, Georgia, she completed fifth grade and then went to work in support of her family.
“Ruby worked hard all her life as her work experience began in the fields in Georgia and continued as she later moved to Florida. Other work experiences included domestic work and ended in housekeeping at the Riviera Motel in Coral Gables,” Thomas said.
She is a woman of faith who loves and worships God with all her being, Thomas said. And Turner agreed.
“You probably wouldn’t get through two or three sentences without her telling you about her love for God,” he said.
Grant, he said, is known for her humility, and her mothering skills.
She had three sons, two who are still living, and raised them as a single parent. One son, Rufus Grant, became a pastor and continues to serve at New Beginnings Fellowship. He is about to turn 81. Another, Joe Grant, is 86.
“But at her 100th birthday celebration she was still calling them her boys,” Turner said.
For years, she loved quilting, ceramics, gardening, and cooking, and she still watches sports. Her favorite TV program has always been 60 Minutes, which she continues to watch every Sunday, her friends said.
“She says it’s very interesting and educational. Her family members know that she is occupied at that time,” Thomas said. “She is very independent. She is a phenomenal woman.”
Grant turned 104 years old on Jan. 2.
Happy Birthday! And thank you for giving so much to your community.
LEARN ABOUT PLUMERIA
We all love seeing the beautiful tropical trees that bloom here in the spring. Here is your chance to learn more about Plumeria, or frangipani as many call them, with their flowers often used to make garlands and leis.
The public is welcome to hear Hetty Ford, curator of the Plumeria Collection at Naples Botanical Garden, speak at the next gathering of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 8, at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. The talk will be in the Corbin Building next to the Garden House. Park and enter at the South Gate.
Ford’s discussion is about the National Plumeria Collection, a treasure that is recognized by the North American Plant Collections Consortium.
The fun and active Tropical Flowering Tree Society meets on the second Monday of each month with programs that include speakers, rare flowering tree auctions, and a bloom table. Visitors are welcome at no cost. Become a member for only $30 a year. For information call 305-389-5404, or check out http://www.tfts.org/.
BARNACLE MOONLIGHT CONCERT
Folksingers and songwriters Jennings & Keller will perform on Valentine’s Day at a romantic concert under the stars. Bring a picnic, blanket and lawn chairs to The Barnacle Historic State Park, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Feb. 14, at 3485 Main Hwy.
Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for members of The Barnacle Society, $3 for kids ages 6 to 9, and free to children under 6 years old. The gates open at 5:30 p.m. No pets are allowed in the park.
The acoustic duo is based out of Miami. Laurie Jennings Oudin and Dana Keller bring much experience to their collaboration. They call their music Fusion Folk American and with the release of their debut CD Susan's House and its follow-up, As The Universe Unfolds, the two are quickly gaining recognition throughout the U.S.
The Barnacle Society, a nonprofit organization created for the preservation and financial support of the historic site, sponsors events at The Barnacle. For more, call 305-442-6866 or visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/The-Barnacle and http://www.thebarnacle.org/.
COOKING DEMO AND BOOK REVIEW
Linda Ogden Epling will present her book, The Cooking Queen Opens Her Kitchen, along with a cooking demonstration, at the next Book Review gathering of the GFWC Coco Plum Woman’s Club at 10 a.m., Feb. 17 at 1375 Sunset Dr., Coral Gables.
Ogden Epling was a local caterer for many years and she has published two books with recipes for all to enjoy. The Cooking Queen Opens Her Kitchen is an Amazon five-star rated cookbook described as filled with “real world tips, perfectly designed for your home kitchen.”
If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.