Youth is an attitude for the ladies of the Nineties Club

GREENVILLE—Age is nothing but a number for the women of the “Nineties Club.”

These six members of the women’s club at St. Mary Church in Greenville are enjoying their ninth decade of life.

Pat Webb, corresponding secretary for the club, said the idea started about four years ago as a way to pay tribute to the oldest members, who are honored each year at a spring luncheon.

Jean Boggs, the senior member, will proudly tell you she is 97.

“It’s a milestone and it’s wonderful —God has been good and I’ve had a great life!” she said.

She’s been a member of the club for 77 years. Mrs. Boggs remembers being a member of the junior women’s club as a girl. Once she graduated to the women’s club, she was especially proud of the charity work they did, including outreach to local orphanages and children’s homes.

Time made a complete circle for her earlier this year when she attended the annual Mardi Gras celebration at St. Mary in March. She was elected Mardi Gras Queen in 1938.

Alma Furman, 95, is the second oldest member. She moved to Greenville from Philadelphia in 1957 and joined shortly after.

Furman said the women’s club has given her a chance to make wonderful friends and her proudest moment was being elected Catholic Woman of the Year in 1992.

Mrs. Furman drove her own car and attended meetings up until 2013, when she moved to High Point, N.C., to be close to her son. She doesn’t make it back to St. Mary very often but still treasures her memories and loves life. “The key to a long life is just to be happy,” she said.

Ruth O’Rourke, 94, joined the club in 1941.

Some of her favorite memories include serving meals for the church, entertaining children from St. Mary School and hand-sewing baptismal garments that were donated to the church to be given to babies who needed them.

Mrs. O’Rourke’s best advice to people is “enjoy your family and enjoy your friends, because you never know when God will call you!”

Rose Eassy, 93, has been a member for 43 years, and follows in the footsteps of her mother, the late Seleny Eassy, who was a member most of her life.

She lives with her sister Anne, 85, also a longtime member, and said the club is like a second family to her.

Nancy Ferro

Nancy Ferro, 90, likes to talk about her service in the U.S. Navy during World War II almost as much as she likes to talk about the club.

“Those women are my sisters,” she said. “Over the years, if one of us had a problem, we all had a problem.”

The youngest club member is Helen Williams, 90.

Helen Williams

She makes it to meetings when she can, although she spends most of her time caring for her husband and driving him places.

Mrs. Williams said staying active is the key to the long life she and her fellow club members enjoy.

“Keep moving, because if you don’t leave your bed you might soon not get out of it!” she said.

Read more about Catholics like you by subscribing to The Catholic Miscellany.