PREECEVILLE — While most area residents were observing Christmas Eve, on December 24 Ruth Predy celebrated her 100th birthday with a party for family and friends at Preeceville Personal Care, where she has been a resident several years. Her son Patrick hosted the Zoom party, allowing family members and loved ones to participate even if they were far away.
Predy was married to her husband George for over 70 years and he lived to the ripe old age of 95 before his passing in 2013, so it appears they developed a considerable amount of wisdom regarding living a long, happy life.
When asked how it feels to have surpassed the century mark, she quickly quipped, “Doesn’t feel like 100, feels more like 50.”
Ruth was born to Peter and Carrie Malanowich, and was raised on the family farm near Canora.
“I enjoyed growing up on the farm,” Predy said. “We had many nice outings doing things like picking strawberries and mushrooms. And we had farm animals including horses, cows and pigs.”
She attended East Scalat School south of Canora, approximately a mile-and-a-half from the farm.
“We usually had about 20 people in our one-room school,” Predy shared. “We had all kinds of fun, skated in winter and played baseball in summer. I made a lot of friends.”
Even though she has lived in or near Canora most of her life, Predy headed east for a short period of time as a young adult, including living and working in Toronto and Winnipeg.
After her return to Canora Predy met her future husband George, who was secretary/treasurer of RM of Good Lake for 41 years and “was a really smart guy.”
When asked how they met, she claims, “George hated stopping to open and close gates when he was out visiting farmers, so he took me along. That’s how our relationship started. I remember seeing some fierce-looking bulls, but they never gave me any trouble.”
George and Ruth Predy were married on October 16, 1942 and raised a family of four children in Canora. From oldest to youngest they are: Elizabeth, Ronald (Liz), Linda (Al Ruemper) and Patrick. They have been blessed with five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
“People are lucky to live in Canora,” said Predy. “It’s a small town atmosphere, you get to know a lot of people and make a lot of friends.”
In addition to opening gates for George, Ruth’s working career in Canora was filled with variety and interesting challenges, including working as a telephone operator.
“That was fun, plugging in wires and listening to people talk. I learned a lot about people and what was going on in the community.
“I also worked at the Sears order office in Canora. I filled out orders for people, then they’d come in and pick up the parcels. That was another fun way to meet people.”
Predy later accepted a position at Gateway Lodge where she was in charge of keeping everyone active, and recalls, “Residents were very nice to me.”
Getting involved in the community was important to her, including serving as District Deputy Grand Matron of the Eastern Star in Canora.
“We did charity work raising money for worthy local causes.”
She enjoyed knitting and crocheting as hobbies for many years, as well as Easter egg painting. Many of her painted Easter eggs are on display in her present home at Preeceville Personal Care.
“George and I enjoyed making homemade root beer together. We often had it at parties and treated everyone- they really seemed to like it.”
At her Preeceville home, Predy enjoys visiting with other residents and singing. Her secret to a long and happy life is not at all complicated.
“Make lots of friends, smile and be happy.”