Staying Strong Through Faith in a Small Community

Women on average live five to ten years longer than men and 85 percent of people over the age of 100 are women, according to a study by Boston University. Aside from health reasons, women tend to live longer because they’re usually more emotionally open and socially active than men.

Slater, Mo., is a rural community of about 1,800 people. The local senior center closed a few years ago due to lack of funds, but that hasn’t stopped Martha Garnett, 86 and RuBenia White, 96, from having strong support systems and having an abundance of friends in a small community. Faith plays a strong role in both of their lives.

Living With Faith

RuBenia White has lived at Sullivan Hall apartments in Slater, Mo., for over thirty years. She was constantly on the move until she fell and broke her hip and underwent a complete hip replacement in mid-October. Since, she has completed all of her physical therapy and looks forward to regaining her mobility. With the pain still too much for her to go out, White stays in her apartment and receives company from her numerous friends and family. White’s strong devotion to God keeps her upbeat.

Conquering Fear Through Faith

Martha Garnett lives by herself on a farm a couple miles outside of Slater, Mo. She’s been widowed twice, by Harry Venable, who died of a massive heart attack, and Bob Garnett, who died of lung cancer. She’s been living by herself for almost 18 years and keeps herself busy visiting friends and family, playing bridge and going to the Methodist church where she’s been a member for over 20 years. Throughout her life, Garnett has found happiness helping others.