SAN ANTONIO -- Technically Dr. Ruth Lofgren's 100th birthday isn't until November 25. She's had such an impact on the folks at Alamo Area Council of Governments, though, that they decided to celebrate early.
"I started back about in the early 80's," said Lofgren, explaining how she got involved with local government. "I had a friend who was a member of the justice advisory committee here... and she said, 'I think you should be a member of this committee.'"
Even before all that, Lofgren was a prominent ecologist, microbiologist and environmentalist. In 2008, she became San Antonio's first Peace Laureate.
"Since I'm a Quaker, it makes good sense for me to believe in peace and justice," she said. "We desperately all want and crave peace and justice and good will and compassion."
Lofgren has dealt good will and compassion out in droves over her 99 years, and friends like Paul Furukawa says they learn something new every time they meet.
"Just this morning she told me how she manages her daily schedule even at age 100, and it makes a great deal of sense and I felt like I should've been taking notes," he said. "One of her secrets is she plans on doing one important thing per day. One meeting, one important report or one telephone call."
With all the lives she's touched over the years, it's no surprise that the rest of her Bexar Area Agency on Aging board members would throw her a surprise party. Still, she says one celebration is plenty.
"The peace center is the organization that wants to give me a birthday party and I said not a party, a program that looks to the future. And I'm delighted."