North Ogden Woman Turns 104, Attributes Longevity to Maintaining a Positive Attitude | Local News


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NORTH OGDEN – After more than 100 years on the planet, Ruth Pledger knows a thing or two.

She turned 104 on Thursday and thinks the prospects are important in that kind of longevity. Exercise and healthy eating are important, but having the right attitude can add to your life as well.

“You can find beauty in everything,” she said. Yes, there is pain and disease and other bad things in life, but there is a lot of good, and keeping an eye on it keeps you moving.

Pledger is in a tight group to turn it into three digits. “Few people get to be this old,” Pledger said.

And to mark her 104th birthday, a few days late, the family gathered for a party on Saturday at Quail Meadow, the assisted living facility in North Ogden where they live. Granddaughter Nicole Greenwood envisioned it as a way to celebrate everything her grandmother has done in her life. “Not only is she 104, but she’s battling her fifth cancer diagnosis, has traveled all 50 states and traveled to Europe with my grandfather,” Greenwood said in an email.

Pledge is her idol in many ways, Greenwood said, and in her opinion, her grandmother’s continued involvement in the world around her figures in her relative vigor as well. Her husband Harry Pledger, who died in 2017 at the age of 98, has always encouraged active participation in life and his wife has taken the advice to heart.

“He said if you stop moving you will die. I think that’s my grandmother’s mindset, ”Greenwood said. It would be easy to stay in bed all day, but she would “force herself to get up.” … She’s a kind of fighter. She can’t stand things.

Debbie Barnes, Pledger’s daughter and one of his seven children, said her mother was always thinking of things to do, of finding ways to learn and improve. “She always has plans and goals,” whether it’s writing in her journal, writing family history, keeping up with technology, painting, crocheting, playing cards or whatever, Barnes said.

Pledger was born on June 10, 1917, which means she experienced both the Spanish flu and the COVID-19 pandemics. But one of his earliest memories is not of death and illness, but rather of trains. “My first memory is of my grandfather holding me in his arms and watching the choo-choos go by,” she said. It was on his grandfather’s farm in Riverdale, then just a rural outpost.

Her early years were spent in the Ogden area, then in high school she moved to Hollywood, California when her father found a job there. She later returned to Utah and settled in North Ogden. After her children grew up, she worked at the Internal Revenue Service here in Weber County, among other places. Her husband worked at Defense Depot Ogden as a supervisor and along the way came the couple’s seven children. Today Pledger has 31 grandchildren and over 80 great grandchildren.

She laments what she sees as the loss of the innocence of yesteryear, when you didn’t have to lock your door at night and had real conversations with the neighbors. “It was just a sweeter world,” Pledger said.

Yet there have been many positive changes over the past 104 years, including advances in technology and medicine. “So many, many changes. I’ve seen so many changes. It’s amazing,” Pledger said.

And through it all, Barnes said his mom rolled with the punches, adjusted and plugged in. “I think she’s so strong and resilient. … She continues, ”Barnes said.

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