Woman says bacon helped her celebrate 109 years

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MARSHALL, Ill. — A 109-year-old woman from southern Illinois has some advice for living a long life.

“I never smoked a cigarette in my life, I never drank liquor in my life, and I had one husband for 43 years,” said Ruth Benjamin. “And I love bacon!

Ruth just celebrated her 109th birthday. She was born in 1908 as one of her parents’ six children.

Later in life, she worked at Quakemaid in Terre Haute for 43 years. While her life may be more quiet now, she used to always be on the go.

“I’ve been to Hawaii, I’ve been to Washington D.C., I’ve been to Niagara Falls. I’ve been about everywhere.”

Dr. Jim Turner of Cork Medical Center is Ruth’s doctor.

You’d think he’d have a long list of ‘doctor’s orders’, but, “‘What do you do with someone who’s 109 years old?’ and my answer was ‘absolutely nothing. We don’t need to do anything.'”

As for a key to Ruth’s long life? Dr. Turner attributes that to her attitude.

“Hard work. A loving family. A wonderful marriage. And she never drank, she never smoked, but she was happy. And I think that was the key to her longevity.”