Over 200 friends and family members came from all over to celebrate Ruby Perkin’s 100th birthday on Sept. 14, at the Wilson residence in Richardville,
A table was set up to add memories of Perkins or to place letters addressed to her, in lieu of presents. There was also a guestbook to sign. Several quilts made by Perkins hung between trees and a video of memories played on a screen.
Perkins’ face lit up each time she was greeted by her friends and family.
She expressed, “It’s only once in a lifetime you get a birthday like this one. People came from so far! To think that people think of you so much was wonderful!”
Perkins is known for her amazing wit. She was born to James Wilson Hunt and Rozilla Pulsipher on Sept. 14, 1918. She lived in Carp, Elgin, and Panaca. She married Dale Perkins in 1936 and lived in Overton, Upper Muddy, and Las Vegas. They moved to Alamo in 1971. Perkins loves going to the hills and spent many happy hours there with her children and grandchildren.
She has been an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served as a temple worker with her husband for seventeen years in both the St. George and Las Vegas temples.
Perkins has been widowed for almost eighteen years and keeps moving forward. One of the greatest lessons she has learned throughout her life is “Don’t interfere with other people. Don’t be sarcastic and involved. Just keep your mouth shut!”
Perkins’ birthday cake had a road with cars and mountains with trees which read, “What an example!” and “We love you!” The center of the cake had, “You climbed every mountain, forded every stream; you followed every byway, you survived damn near everything! Now you are 100! Happy birthday!”
Perkins shared what she does to stay active, even at her age. “When I was little, breakfast was always at 6 a.m. and now I am up anywhere from four, five or 6 a.m. If I could sleep till seven, I would love it. You had to work to live back then. I think what motivates me is a force of habit. If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Perkins advised, “Stick together and love one another. Take time for friends every day and help others. I have received letters from people who I have helped in the past and they have thanked me for it. You can’t stop time.”
Off and on throughout her life, Perkins has written poetry about cowboys, the BLM, and life in general. She related, “I never shared my poetry because I felt ashamed. I asked to read them to my husband and he said, ‘Oh, that’s pretty good.’”
Perkins shared several poems. One was entitled “Old Age”:
I have color on my hair, wrinkles in my skin,
I can cover up the gray but the wrinkles just sink in.
My eyes are bad, my teeth the same.
The food I eat, it is to blame.
My shoulders are stooped, my neck is bent.
I fell on my butt, now my tail is rent.
It’s rough to get old, aged and slow,
No one takes me to the mountains while I’m still able to go.
My thoughts are there, my heart the same,
If I don’t make church, my age is to blame.
Blame it on age that I’ve lost my mind,
I can’t think straight, I’m in a bind.
My legs are wobbly, I can hardly walk,
What a blessing it would be if I could control my talk.
Perkins explained that quilting keeps her busy. She has made hundreds of quilts for family and friends. “I sew. I eat. I sleep. I go to the hills.”
Perkins said she feels so fortunate to have celebrated her 100th birthday with so many people she loves. It was a wonderful day, and a huge milestone, shared through laughter, wit, and wisdom.