Fifty-Plus-Year Volunteer at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance Celebrates 100th Birthday

April 23, 2015

Ione Ransom celebrated her 100th birthday in style with more than 100 friends, family and local dignitaries at a recent luncheon celebration.

Ransom, who officially turns 100 today, helped establish the gift shop at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, even sewing the original curtains. She volunteered at the gift shop for more than 50 years and for decades at the Toberman Neighborhood Center in San Pedro. Last year, at age 99, she decided it was time to retire.

But, retirement hasn’t slowed Ransom down. Ransom remains a frequent visitor to the hospital where she works out in the Cardiovascular Pulmonary Center three days a week, along with other patients dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She is a member of PEP (Pulmonary Education Program) Pioneers, a group that meets monthly to provide support and camaraderie to those with COPD. The group also organizes trips, such as a recent trip to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Several local dignitaries attended the birthday luncheon to honor Ransom for her years of volunteer work throughout the South Bay, including: state Assemblyman David Hadley; state Sen. Ben Allen; Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey; Eileen Hupp, president and CEO of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; Donna Duperron, president and CEO of the Torrance Chamber of Commerce; and Elise Swanson, president and CEO of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce .

During the celebration, Betsy Barnes, a respiratory care practitioner at the Providence Medical Center in Torrance, recalled the first time she met the centenarian. “When Ione walked into the hospital for her first COPD treatment, I was completely taken aback. I had expected to meet a frail, elderly woman. Boy! Was I surprised when this tall, statuesque, vibrant lady walked in!”

Still living alone in her Palos Verdes Estates home, Ransom manages her COPD – proud of the fact that she has never been hospitalized for the chronic disease, the nation’s No. 3 killer. She attributes her longevity to “good clean living” and inspires healthy living, smart lifestyle choices and remaining active.

Ransom also still has a keen sense of humor. When party guests ask about her secret for long life, she smiles and tells them: “Exercising three days a week, chocolate candy and a little Baileys Irish Cream,” which she says she sips while watching “The Late Show with David Letterman.”