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Resident Spotlight 

Wanza Ruh

Wanza Ruh Becomes a Centenarian
at Pelican Garden


The grandest milestone of all was accomplished and celebrated by a large gathering of residents and family members as Wanza Ruh turned 100 years old at Pelican Garden.  The festive day included a lot of cake and ice cream, beautiful flower arrangements, balloons and of course, many gifts.  Wanza’s family members came in from all over to help her celebrate this special day.  The smile on her face during this entire event was priceless and evident that she truly enjoyed seeing her supported family!


Wanza was born on January 27th, 1918 in Mathews County Virginia. She had a brother, Victor, and a sister, Addis. Wanza was only 15 years old when their mother passed.


In October of 1937 she married Martin A. Ruh and they moved to New York City.  Wanza and Martin had two beautiful daughters, Bonnie and Vickie.  In the early 1940’s the happy family moved to the Finger Lakes in beautiful upstate New York. 


As the years passed Wanza was blessed with three grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  Sadly, Martin passed away in 2000.


Over the years Wanza worked as a waitress, a bookkeeper, did office work in a local creamery, and worked retail. She enjoyed gardening and was also a freelance artist working mostly with watercolors. 


Wanza was also involved in local politics. She’s a great cook and claims to make the best apple pie around!


She also loved to travel. Her best trip ever was a group trip to Fiji when she was just a youngster in her 70’s.


Wanza was living in New York until 2016 when she had a fall and needed to go to rehab.  When she was able to leave rehab, she moved to Florida to live with her daughter Vickie.  One day while relaxing at the community pool, a neighbor began talking about Pelican Garden.  The conversation piqued her interest and she wanted to go see what Pelican Garden was all about.  Wanza took a tour and she met some of the staff and residents.  She said she was hooked and Wanza decided to call Pelican Garden home… and we’re delighted to have her as part of our family.


Every day Wanza makes a wish at the Pelican Garden fountain. “I don’t know what I’m doing here so long. I know I want to go in good faith and I want to go to heaven.” She thinks you should be good to everyone and try to do the best you can with your own life.


Congratulations to Wanza Ruh!


Article contributors – Wanza Ruh, Margaret Conti and Gail Cavallo 

Wanza Ruh celebrates her 100th birthday at Pelican Garden Assisted living with family and friends.

Every day Wanza makes a wish at the fountain outside Pelican Garden.

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