Naomi Duffy turns 99 at Rufty-Holmes

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 18, 2011

Rufty-Holmes Senior Center fitness program crowned its most senior senior at a surprise 99th birthday celebration for Naomi Duffy earlier this week. Duffy has been a participant in fitness classes and received personal training at the center since 2008.
Duffy, who lives with her son and daughter-in-law in west Rowan county, moved to the area from Jacksonville, Fla. Four years ago she came for a visit with no plans to stay, but a fall and the resulting broken hip made the choice for her. After physical therapy she came to Rufty-Holmes for personal training to continue her recovery and maintain her mobility.
While RHSC employees have honored Duffy’s November 12 birthday each year, this year was deemed special enough to warrant a jeweled tiara, pink feather boa, and balloons, as well as cake and punch. Better yet, she received a houseplant identical to one she had been coveting since spying it in the center’s indoor garden. Once an avid gardener, Duffy can name the various plants in the center’s outdoor gardens, as well.
If you ask her, Duffy will advise you not to get old. But she’s determined to stay as active as she can, exercising at the center three days a week. A typical routine involves walking, balance practice, and strength training with weights and a stretch band. When the weather is nice, she likes to walk outdoors. Some days are harder than others, she admits, but she’ll readily tell you that she comes anyway. Why?
“Once you sit down, you might not get up again.”