Ruby Colson Cope of Reidland celebrates her 100th birthday today alongside four generations of extended family and has invited old friends in the community to celebrate with her.
Cope was born in Trigg County, which she recalled to be a "beautiful county" with "so many hills." Her parents were Kelsie Colson and Ethel Ferguson Colson.
"My grandmother came to live with us when I was just a baby, and we all went to church together," she said.
Cope's daughter and niece emphasized that religion plays a big role in her life.
"She has given me all those Christian values," said her daughter Carolyn Cope. "I guess she really taught me 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'"
Phyllis Hathcock, Cope's niece, agreed.
"Because she is a good Christian lady, she has always set a good example," Hathcock said. "I never hear her say anything bad about anybody."
Hathcock's mother, Estelle Belle, was Cope's best friend. Belle and Cope married brothers Buster and Att Cope, respectively, in a double wedding ceremony in 1930. The two couples lived in a duplex in Paducah. The close relationship between the two couples brought Hathcock very close to her aunt.
"She's my other mother," said Hathcock. "She just took the place of my mother for me, and I took care of her for a long time. I went and got her groceries. When I picked out a car, she was there."
Turning 100 doesn't seem to slow Cope down.
"She was a pretty independent person, and still is," Hathcock said. "She still gets perms and pedicures and manicures!"
Cope shared her secret to her healthy lifestyle.
"I eat lots of vegetables and get lots of rest," she said.
She has been an active member of Rosebower Baptist Church since 1954 and cherishes the friends she has made there. A birthday celebration will be held in the church's Fellowship Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. All relatives and friends are invited.
"We hope that some of the people she hasn't seen in years, like maybe people she worked with years ago, and certainly any people in the community that knew her, will come," said Carolyn Cope. "I hope she will get to renew some acquaintances and friendships at the party."
Contact Katie Paxton, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8655.