Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy 103rd Birthday, Beulah!

The Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Center in Hillcrest this week celebrated the birthday of Beulah Cole Magruder, who turned 103 years young on February 20.

Beulah has been part of our Hillcrest Center since May 2007 and has led a colorful and adventurous life. She is the embodiment of her favorite saying: “Good Better Best, Never Let Her Rest, ‘Til the Good is Better, and The Better is Best.”

She was born in Calhoun County, Iowa in 1907 and attended a one-room schoolhouse, which she traveled to and from by pony. A lifelong feminist, she volunteered for years alongside Alice Paul and other suffragists at the National Women’s Party headquarters in Washington, D.C., and was one of the first female auditors in the General Accounting Office.

Soon after her retirement from the GAO at age 70, she became a highly active volunteer. At age 77, she volunteered for the XXIII Olympics in Los Angeles and Jimmy Carter’s Habitat for Humanity. When she was 85, she bought an RV and drove the Alaska-Canada Highway (“The Alcan”) with a friend. At age 96, she traveled by Amtrak from San Diego to Fonda, IA for a high school reunion. To this day, she votes in every election.

Last year she was asked the secret to a long life. “Word hard and do your best. Don’t ever give up. Get up and get going.”

Said her daughter, Josie, with whom Beulah lives: “No matter what challenges Mom’s had to face, she’s just kept putting one foot in front of the other and pushed on ahead with a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and wonderful sense of humor.”