Trending | Uplifting

Woman Celebrates 101st Birthday At Her Favorite Taco Bell

Yellow Pages/KFVS

When you turn 101, you've earned the right to do what you want, whenever you want.

If you want to eat ice cream for breakfast, go ahead. If you want to stay up past midnight, it's your choice. And if you want to scold the neighborhood kids for stepping on your lawn, more power to you.

But for one Illinois woman, all she wants to do is spend another afternoon at Taco Bell - even on her birthday.

"They were just so nice to me that I've been coming back ever since."

On August 14, Ruth Parker celebrated turning 101 years old at her beloved Mexican fast food chain.

But, Parker isn't just any ordinary customer.

According to the centennial, she moved back to Southern Illinois from Florida nearly 18 years ago, and came across the Taco Bell restaurant after searching for a place to read the newspaper and have a cup of coffee.

Although Taco Bell doesn't serve the caffeinated beverage, an employee made her a cup of joe anyway.

It was at that moment Parker had found her regular hot spot, making a trip every Tuesday and Friday, sometimes even more.

"They were just so nice to me that I've been coming back ever since," she told KFVS-12.

So, it came to no surprise that Parker was going to celebrate her big day at the Carbondale location, which was decorated with balloons, flowers and an outdoor sign announcing her birthday.

"We celebrate every birthday here, she explained. "I feel alright. I feel good at 101, I guess."

"We just love her to death."

After nearly two decades, Parker said she's tried nearly every food option on the Taco Bell menu, but has recently "become hooked" on their Nacho Fries, a recently re-released menu item.

Store Manager Rebecca Gefro said she was working at the fast food chain the first time Parker ever came in, and after all these years, the staff still make time to see her.

"No matter what, we all know Miss Ruth and we all make her a part of our lives and talk to her," she said, adding that they're already gearing up for her 102nd birthday.

"We just love her to death."

An occasion for all

This isn't the first time Taco Bell has come into the spotlight for being one of the public's most beloved fast food chains.

This past May, two Pennsylvania teenagers took their prom pictures at the restaurant, while another couple took their wedding photos inside a Florida location.

"Whether it's as a backdrop to senior grad photos, a wedding venue or a birthday destination from 1 to 101, Taco Bell's role in our fan's biggest life-moments show the power of the brand in culture and the importance of our Team Members' role in the community," Taco Bell spokesman Matt Prince said in a statement.

How would you celebrate your 101st birthday? Let us know in the comments!


Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at