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110-year-old woman reunited with sisters for 1st time in 20 years

POSTED: April 29, 2014 11:35 p.m.

It was a reunion decades in the making.

“It may be 20 or more years since all three of them have ever been together,” said Carlyle Cox, former Gainesville city manager. “My mother and her next older sister, Ruth, used to live together in a senior center. They had independent apartments for several years.

“But my aunt Rosie (was) in Florida. They had not been together in, I don’t know, maybe 20 or 25 years at least.”

Rose Shloss was the oldest resident in her Sarasota, Fla., retirement center, so the Wish of a Lifetime program wanted to fulfill a wish for her. It was her desire to reunite with her two sisters “once again in their lifetime,” Cox said.

But Ruth Branum, 104, lives in Oklahoma, and Cox’s mother Rubye, 110, lives in Rhode Island.

“My aunt Ruth who has some heart trouble ... she didn’t think they could make it on a commercial flight,” Cox said.

This is when athlete Jeremy Bloom, who has ties with the Wish of a Lifetime program, stepped in. He used his connections to provide a private flight for Branum.

So in early April, both Branum and Shloss made the trek to Rhode Island, where Rubye Cox resides. The three sisters spent three days together.

“Here we are,” Branum said to Rubye Cox, according to multiple news sources. “You’re 110 years old, Rosie’s 102, and I’m 104, almost 105.”

The extraordinary meeting caught the attention of media outlets, including a feature in People magazine’s April 28 issue.

“(My mother) was very, very excited about it,” Cox said. “All three of them were, let’s face it. It was something that they never thought would happen.”

He said the secret to the three’s longevity was movement.

“As they put it very well, just keep going,” he said.


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