Ruth Ford of Boston is quite a lady.

To say she's had a long career is an understatement.  Ford retired in November after working at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for 70 years.  Ford tells me she's proud of her career, and reveals her secret to longevity.

“I’m 90 years old. I was always active apart from work too you know. I played tennis and I was a bowler and I did a little skiing.”

And that's not all.  Ford is somewhat of a renaissance woman.  

She attended Boston Clerical in Boston's Roxbury Neighborhood back in the 1940s, where she learned to type 80 words a minute and ultimately took a civil service exam and passed. It was a time when few women worked outside the home, and even fewer black women worked in professional roles. Ford rose through the ranks at the DPH, working her way up from secretary, to data analyst, and finally held a position in information systems.

So I asked Ford How did she know it was the right time to retire? Why now? Well...Ford says she was in a division where things recently changed. Her unit was phased out, and a new position required more training.

“That’s when I decided I don’t want to go there for anymore training,  you know, at this stage of my life. That’s when I decided back in May, I think it’s time to leave.”

Ford was always one to embrace advancing technology, but not this time.  Ford has been praised for her impeccable work career and all her accomplishments.  Her resume includes helping to establish   in 1961 Dorchester's Sportsmen's Tennis Club, the country's first African-American founded, nonprofit tennis club.

Ford never married, but is active in the community and has many friends. When one retires after such a long, successful career...the "What's next" question invariably comes up.  Ford was quite spunky with her response.

“Everyone’s asking me…give me a break. I just retired a week ago. I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, I’m just going to relax and I’m sure I’ll find something to do.”

But she does know what she doesn’t want to do.

“I’m not going on any trips. I’m not interested in going to Hawaii. I did a lot of traveling all those years, I’ve been on a couple of cruises, I’ve been to Barbados, I’ve been skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho. I did a lot of traveling years ago.”

A lot of traveling and years  lived to the fullest.  Ruth Ford has achieved more than most other women ever will...and we most definitely agree there's something more in her future.

We wish her well.