Celebrating a Rare Milestone

Rainbow Community Care Team
January 15, 2024 / 5 mins read


Rainbow knew it had to do something for a special lady at Fairhaven Senior Services in November. After all, it's not every day that you have a milestone birthday pop up on the calendar.

Rainbow teamed up with Fairhaven Senior Services to organize a birthday lunch for hospice patient Ruth Nicholson. Ruth turned 102 on Thanksgiving, November 23, 2023, but celebrated her
birthday one day earlier with an Oklahoma-type theme party. Rainbow gifted Ruth several balloons, a big birthday card, and a steer ring toss. Fairhaven provided the pizza and cake to residents
and guests.

Ruth is an Oklahoma native and graduated from the University of Tulsa, where she was a proud member of the Phi Mu Sorority. She moved to Wisconsin in the 1970s and also served as the Dean of Women for UW-Whitewater.

Ruth's family mentioned her as a historically accurate past and present Fashion Queen and being in style with latest trends. Rainbow volunteers Kay Udey and Lori Krasemann visit Ruth every other week and were there for her party as well. Kay's friend, Pat Ogren also brought her dog along to wish Ruth a 'Happy Birthday.'

Ruth loved the day's festivities, including reminiscing with everyone about growing up in Oklahoma, and getting the chance to celebrate with everyone, including her Rainbow care team of Nurse Case Manager Kendra Gerleman, social worker Sarah Phalin, and Rainbow Clinical Facility Liaison Dana Traynere.


Rainbow's Kendra Gerleman, Sarah Phalin, and Dana Traynere were privledged to celebrate Ruth's birthday with her.

"She was a hoot and was happy to share her secret to living well. She said you have to 'mind your business,'" said Traynere. "She had all of us laughing! You can tell she was raised with proper manners and to this day holds herself to high expectations, still dressing well."

"Ruth was smiling ear to ear and enjoyed every minute of the staff and residents singing to her," said Gerleman. "She is meek and mild but loves the attention."