La Jollan Ruth Christensen celebrates her 100th birthday

Ruth Christensen celebrates her 100th birthday in 2020 with her daughter Lea (right) and granddaughter Rianna.
(Photo by Elisabeth Frausto)

La Jolla welcomed another centenarian as longtime resident Ruth Christensen turned 100 with a party surrounded by friends and family.

Born Feb. 19, 1920, in Stapleton, Nebraska, Ruth’s daughter told La Jolla Light her mom adored both her parents and brother. She met John Christensen and married him right after finishing college in Nebraska. She taught school for a year and then followed John around the world as his military career led them to live in Italy, Japan and several states across the nation.

An Air Force colonel who flew more than 50 missions in World War II, John retired in Utah, but Ruth’s love for the ocean had them soon buying a house in Muirlands and settling in La Jolla. Here, John played golf at Torrey Pines daily and Ruth, involved in charity organization The La Jolla Villagers, played piano at fundraisers. John passed away 14 years ago at age 91, and a plaque commemorating his service is displayed at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.

Ruth Christensen in 1963
(Courtesy Photo/Courtesy Photo)

Ruth has two children, daughter Lea Claire, who also lives in La Jolla, and son John Christensen, who lives in Coarsegold, California. Ruth boasts three granddaughters, living from California to Oregon.

She now resides at Avant Garde Senior Living in La Jolla (formerly Seasons), participating in singing and painting activities. The facility threw her a large party on her big day — complete with flowers, cake and other treats — and attended by residents and staff, friends and Ruth’s daughter Lea and granddaughter Rianna (Lea’s niece).

A perfect reflection of her reported happy disposition, Ruth ushered in her next year with nothing but smiles and laughter.

• LA JOLLA CENTENARIANS: This occasional La Jolla Light series features interviews with local centenarians. If you know a La Jollan who is 100 years old, please e-mail or call (858) 875-5950.

Ruth Christensen and her husband John with their children, Lea and John, in 1955
(Courtesy Photo/Courtesy Photo)