Family Picture

Miriam Grubaugh (left) is visited by her granddaughter, Marla Duncan. Grubaugh celebrated her 102nd birthday on Monday with some of her close family including Duncan.

THORNVILLE — It is an accomplishment for those who live to 100 years of age as they have seen a century of life. For Miriam Grubaugh, she is still taking on life as she lives to see 102 years old.

Grubaugh was born in Licking County near Thornville and resided there for most of her life. She would go to school in Newark for part of her life as well. Now, she currently resides in an Altercare facility in Thornville where she has been staying for almost seven years.

Altercare provides assisted living for residents in Somerset and Thornville. The family-owned assisted living facility has made healthcare its passion, according to its website. Since 1973, the Schroer family has worked in the long-term healthcare industry. Since its creation, for more than four decades, Altercare have served patients throughout Ohio and some parts of Michigan.

Altercare and its employees specialize in assisting those who are elderly or disabled. They provide short-term rehabilitation, long term nursing care and residential services. The facility in Thornville is a 50-bed facility where residents are close to one another.

Grubaugh has fond memories of her early life. She remembers growing up in the community and trying to figure out where the future would take her. One of her first jobs was working at Martin Music in Newark. There she worked as a bookkeeper. She would also work for a local credit union as well.

“Most of my work was in accounting,” Grubaugh told The Perry County Tribune. “I really enjoyed it.”

She would continue to work as a bookkeeper for other local businesses in Licking County. At one point, she owned an antique shop in Linfield.

Grubaugh stated that she loved working in the accounting field stating that it “was interesting.” She continued stating that working in that field opened her up to working with different facets of a business and understanding how it operated.

Few are fortunate enough to call themselves a centenarian, someone who lives to be 100 years old. For Grubaugh, she has seen 102 years of life as she celebrated her birthday last Tuesday at the Altercare facility. She celebrated her birthday on Monday as well with her primary and extended family some of whom live in the State of Florida.

Her secret to long life is very simple: believing. She stated that she believes that she was brought on this earth to live and to experience what life has to offer. She also stressed the importance of helping others when they need it.

“The secret to long life is just taking care of yourself and looking out for other people and doing the things that you enjoy,” Grubaugh said.

Grubaugh stated that she never really had hobbies growing up. Since she has moved to the Thornville Altercare facility, she has taken up coloring as a hobby. In her room, a box of pencils and materials can be seen as you walk into her room.

Grubaugh lived on her own until she was 89 years old. Around that time was when she started living with her granddaughter, Marla Duncan. Duncan stated that her grandmother would always do her laundry and tend to her flower garden.

“She did my laundry, even though I told her not to,” Duncan said.

One day while Grubaugh was in Duncan’s kitchen, she suffered an accident. When Grubaugh went to open the refrigerator door, she fell back and broke her hip and her arm. After a while of rehabilitation, Duncan stated that she noticed that her home was not equipped to help her injured grandmother. Almost seven years ago, Duncan brought her grandmother to the Altercare facility because that’s where Grubaugh wanted to be living.

“She really provided for my family growing up,” Duncan stated.

Duncan said that in her early years, her grandmother would take her shopping in the Columbus area. She noted that they would spend the whole day shopping and that Grubaugh taught her how to shop.

Grubaugh only had one child with her husband, who passed away 40 years ago. She would later have three grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

Grubaugh is also a cancer survivor. She has lived through colon cancer, breast cancer and cancer in her kidney. While part of her kidney and colon have been removed since her fight with cancer, she is still active and coloring constantly.

“She is a lovely person,” Altercare staff Sharon Hankins said. “We just enjoy being around her.”

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