Ruth Taylor was born on April 23, 1915, making her 97 years old today. Her age, of course, doesn't stop her from being an active piano player for her members at the Central Dutchess SDA Company. "I've been playing the piano for 87 years," said Ruth, who started playing when her father bought her a piano when she was ten.
Ruth was born in New Jersey into an Adventist home and shared how they started into the faith. "My grandmother, who lived in Brooklyn, researched many religions. One day, while she and my mother were walking, they saw a big tent. They went to see what was going on and discovered it to be a Seventh-day Adventist evangelistic meeting. After hearing the message, they became Seventh-day Adventists." The family moved to Albany and for a time her mother stopped going to church. When Ruth was ten she was baptized, along with her two sisters and brother at the same time. Her mother got re-baptized with them.
In the 1930s, Ruth trained to be an opera singer. During that time, she met a young man named Raymond Taylor , who later became her husband. She stopped training for the opera and worked at Park Electronic for 15 years as a supervisor. She also served as an Activity Director at a nursing home for more than seven years, was the Federation President of Community Services for the Greater New York Conference, and the president of the Hudson Valley Activity Directors Association for a couple of years before moving to Tennessee and later back to New York.
Keeping herself active professionally, Ruth also kept faithful to God and stayed in shape physically. In earlier years, she played on a basketball team, would snow-ski, roller skate and ran track. She boasted, "I even beat a bunch of farm boys once in the 100-yard-dash." What keeps her going now is getting up at 4 a.m. to exercise, doing her own laundry and cooking.
Throughout her life, Ruth's best moments were playing the organ and the piano for churches. She continues to play for the Central Dutchess Company and has since 2009. "Everything about playing the piano is a challenge," Taylor said, "but I love it because it's good for the brain."
Kimi-Roux James, communication assistant, GNYC