Resident Molly Gruber Fulfilled her Wish of Having a Birthday Extravaganza to Celebrate an Amazing 107 Years of Life

02 May 2018

Resident Molly Gruber has seen it all. She was born before the start of World War I, danced her way through the roaring 20s, got married during the great depression, and raised a family during World War II. To celebrate turning 107, it was her Wish of a Lifetime to have a birthday celebration reminiscent of a 1920s ball with her friends and family at her home at Brookdale Ashland in Oregon.

Molly was born on March 23, 1911, outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, to a family with six other siblings. Her family made due with what little they had, but by eighth grade, she left school to find work. As a young adult, she had her fun dancing the night way at local dance halls. She met her future husband during this time and by the time they were married the great depression was in full swing. The newly married couple had a child, but the young family struggled as good jobs were hard to find. The couple eventually found steady work by the time World War II broke out by getting jobs at one of the many defense plants that opened in Minnesota during that time.

Molly didn’t always have a comfortable life, but she still knows how to have fun. She danced competitively in her later years and exercised three times a week up until the age of 99. Her life has been a fantastic journey and fulfilling her Wish of a Lifetime is just the latest stop along the way.

Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime threw Molly a special birthday celebration on March 23. A live band played her favorite songs, and she relived her dancing days through a live performance by local swing dancers. The party even featured a casino royale where attendees tried their hand at roulette, blackjack, and craps. But as it should be, Molly was the main attraction at the celebration. Everyone enjoyed being her presence, and nobody could believe she was 107. As the photographer put it, "I gave her a hug, and she nearly broke my back!"

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