"102. It's hard to believe."
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Brian Willie: RMPBS

Alma Ryan was treated to a special birthday celebration on Saturday. She deserved it -- Ryan is celebrating 102 years.

"102. It's hard to believe," the Centennial resident told RMPBS through a window.

Alma Ryan watching her birthday celebration

Ryan was born in Detroit in 1918 and moved to the Denver area in the 1980s. She worked for the U.S. State Department and traveled the world as a secretary.

A career in the oil and gas industry brought her to the area. Her husband died during the Korean War. She never remarried and has no children.

She does have plenty of neighbors and friends who helped celebrate the birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One neighbor noted that Ryan is living through her second pandemic.

Ryan said that in 1918, when a pandemic widely known as the Spanish flu was raging, her parents kept her at home all the time. "They weren't going to take any chances that I might catch it just from going out," she said.

She's not going out during this pandemic either. So, she sat by the window while neighbors, friends, and people she doesn't know showed up outside her Centennial home to wish her well.

South Metro Fire Rescue sent a truck by the house, which surprised the birthday girl.

"I'm sure this whole neighborhood is going to remember my birthday,"

We're all wondering about her secret to a long life. She loves to read, works crossword puzzles, and loves history.

She also loves chocolate.

Happy birthday, Alma, from all of us at Rocky Mountain Public Media.

Colorado Voices

Alma Ryan's Birthday


Alma Ryan celebrated her 102nd birthday.

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