Pay It Forward: The Dessert Queen of Waurika

Local News

Rubye Benson just doesn’t stop. Whether she’s baking her famous pies or pursuing another win in bingo, this 89-year-old approaches life the energy of someone a quarter of her age.

“She makes me tired just thinking about all of the stuff she does,” said friend Laronda Duncan. “Anytime there’s a fundraiser, she bakes desserts for that. Anytime the church is having a dinner, she bakes desserts for that. She just gives, gives, gives all the time.”

Benson primarily bakes for the Waurika Senior Center. Each day she bakes at least three pies or cakes — the perfect finish to a hot lunch served at the center.

“We have a charge for an extra piece of pie,” Duncan said. “The whole meal is $3 but people will pay that $2 to get that extra dessert.”

Benson’s baking habit began as a way to feed her three hungry boys growing up. When she finally retired from the workforce — at the tender age of 81 — she began baking for the senior center with the cost of every ingredient coming out of her own pocket.

“The Good Lord was good to me,” Benson said. “I had a good job and now I like to give back. I just enjoy baking. If I’ve got problems or if I’m kind of discouraged…go ahead and bake something. Do something!”

“It makes me want to be a better person,” Duncan said. “It makes me want to give more. It makes me want to do more. She just lifts me up.”

That’s why Duncan wanted to pay it forward — so Benson can continue to spread smiles as easily as she spreads whipped cream.

“I want them to feel joy…and happy they’re there,” Benson said. “And [I want them to say] ‘get me another piece of pie!'”

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