Born on Aug. 30, 1919, in Quincy, Ruth Goldstein Farber was the middle sister in a family of five girls. It was a busy household indeed!

When Ruth met her future husband, Irving Farber, it was love at first sight. They were determined to get married in 1940, even though it was during WW II and Irving was in the military. In fact, a few days before the ceremony, Irving found out there were no more furloughs available. But that didn’t stop the couple. Irving came home anyway and the rest, as they say, is history. Ruth and Irving raised three wonderful sons, first in Lynn and then in Swampscott. Sadly, the couple’s only daughter died from leukemia at 9 months old.

For more than 40 years, Irving and Ruth built a successful shoe business. The original store, located on Market Street in Lynn, was called Farber’s. Their second store, known as Dalton’s Shoes, was located on Broad Street. It became one of the city’s most popular retailers. Customer service was the No. 1 priority for Ruth. As her son Jerry Farber says, “My mom always put the customer first. If there were three people waiting in the store, she would not hesitate to spend an hour or two helping the person who arrived first. Not surprisingly, Ruth and Irving built up a very loyal customer base. Everyone loved them.”

Ruth and Irving were very active in the Lynn Merchant’s Association, as well as Temple Beth El in Swampscott. Ruth and Irving spent their retired years living in Del Ray, Fla., where Ruth was an avid bridge player and loved to play Scrabble. Irving died in 2006 at the age of 88. Today, Ruth enjoys spending time with son Jerry and his wife, Rikki, as well as their two children, Jill and Daniel. Ruth is also the proud great-grandmother of five.

A resident of Kaplan Estates for three years, Ruth is beloved by staff and residents alike. “It is truly a joy having Ruth as a resident,” says Megin Hemmerling, executive director of Harriett and Ralph Kaplan Estates. “She and her family are incredibly kind, thoughtful and treat our staff like family. Ruth’s smile is infectious. She is quick to offer a kind word or positive remark. In short, we all adore her!”

The birthday party at Kaplan Estates on Aug. 30 was a delightful event for all. Family members, friends, staff and residents gathered together to mark the occasion. There were tears in Ruth’s eyes as Ellen Gordon, director of resident life for Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, read a letter from the White House congratulating Ruth on this milestone event. Ruth was very touched.

Jerry Farber summed Ruth up best: “My mother is a beautiful person, both inside and out. She is so very special.”

It seems like everyone at Kaplan Estates agrees. Happy 100th birthday, Ruth!

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