Philadelphia, PA –Ruth Louise Brazington Chandler was born in Philadelphia on December 3, 1919. On Sunday December 8, her son Mark and daughter Stephanie, her grandchildren, their St Thomas Episcopal Church family, neighbors, extended family and friends gave her a surprise 100th birthday party. Walking with the aid of a walker, still sharp, spry and full of energy Mrs. Chandler was totally surprised when she walked into the church hall.

photo by Junious Stanton

During the program Mrs. Chandler was genial and chatty as she spoke to everyone. When given the microphone, she thanked everyone who came. She shared a few anecdotes and confided she was happy to see so many of her church family and her children’s friends who came to celebrate with her. She shared that she didn’t like being around old people who just sat around doing nothing because she was still young at heart. She stated she enjoys playing board games, cards and reading.

Father Martini blessed the proceedings, her children talked about their mother’s hobbies, her church and community involvement, love of reading and intellectual stimulation. The three church organizations she belonged to: Daughters of the King, The Sisterhood and Guild of the Christ Child gifted her with pictures, plaques and flowers.

Her son Mark told an interviewer that during the Black Power conference which was held at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia during the 60’s his mother lent her house which was unoccupied to Father Washington so attendees could stay there.

He stated his mother has always had good health, that his maternal grandmother lived to be ninety-six and might have lived longer had she had gall bladder surgery; so longevity is in his family’s genes. Mark Chandler stated the biggest lesson he learned from his mother was being a giver. “Because she was always a hand’s on giver and a practicing Christian; her thing was, ‘it was always better to give than receive’ and she hammered that into our heads. The giving piece and the volunteerism, we saw her do it. It was not something she had to preach to us, we saw her do it.”

Mrs. Chandler was extremely active in her church and the community until her late eighties then she slowed a bit but she did not stop altogether. The celebrants marveled at Mrs. Chandler’s strong voice, articulation and positive spirit. Mrs. Ruth Chandler is a model of an erudite, sophisticated lady who truly enjoys being alive for 100 years.