Woman celebrates 100th birthday with family close by


ORWIGSBURG, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) A local woman who was born just after the the Spanish Flu pandemic got a special visit for her 100th birthday.

“Happy birthday,” said Christopher Wilson, her son.

“I love you so much,” Ruby Powanda told him.

“I love you too mom,” said Wilson.

A window separated Christopher Wilson and his mom as he told her happy birthday.

“I love her and I miss her and I miss seeing her and I am looking forward to when I can see her again and touch her,” said Wilson.

Standing outside Orwigsburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center with posters, this was the only way the family could help Ruby Powanda celebrate her 100th birthday in the middle of this pandemic.

“It is a milestone. I miss seeing her every week. So it’s something I wanted to do,” says Wilson.

Wilson says Powanda moved to the nursing home after having a serious falling accident about 5 years ago. She has memory loss and doesn’t always understand why she is there.

“Doesn’t anybody want me anymore?” she says.

But she can recall her younger memories. Before her youngest son came to visit, she shared memories with the staff at the home. Memories like living in England until moving to New York as a kid, living through the Great Depression and two world wars.

“It was so great to be around her and to everyone get together and celebrate her even social distancing,” said Heather McFarland, Director of Admissions at the home.

The nursing home helped Powanda celebrate. There was cake, balloons and they sang Happy Birthday.

“She was so excited. You know, she’s 100. She’s tired. She didn’t always want to have us in there but she fought through it,” said McFarland.

The staff trying to bring some normalcy to a unique birthday during an unprecedented time.

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