Author Topic: World's oldest man dies in Montana at 114  (Read 1424 times)

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Offline pmp6nl

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World's oldest man dies in Montana at 114
« on: April 15, 2011, 05:28:42 pm »
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World's oldest man dies in Montana at 114
Man had lived in Minnesota as a youngster
GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Walter Breuning's earliest memories stretched back 111 years, before home entertainment came with a twist of the radio dial. They were of his grandfather's tales of killing Southerners in the Civil War.

By: Associated Press, INFORUM

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Walter Breuning's earliest memories stretched back 111 years, before home entertainment came with a twist of the radio dial. They were of his grandfather's tales of killing Southerners in the Civil War.

Breuning was 3 and horrified: “I thought that was a hell of a thing to say.”

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Here's the world's oldest man's secret to a long life:

    Embrace change, even when the change slaps you in the face. (“Every change is good.”)

    Eat two meals a day (“That's all you need.”)

    Work as long as you can (“That money's going to come in handy.”)

    Help others (“The more you do for others, the better shape you're in.”)

Then there's the hardest part. It's a lesson Breuning said he learned from his grandfather: Accept death.

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He was the oldest man in the world and the second-oldest person, according to the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. Besse Cooper of Monroe, Ga. — born 26 days earlier — is the world's oldest person.

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At the beginning of the new century — that's the 20th century — Breuning moved with his family from Melrose, Minn., to De Smet, S.D., where his father had taken a job as an engineer.

That first decade of the 1900s was literally a dark age for his family. They had no electricity or running water. A bath for young Walter would require his mother to fetch water from the well outside and heat it on the coal-burning stove. When they wanted to get around, they had three options: train, horse and foot.

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In 1918, his boss was promoted to a position in Great Falls and he asked Breuning to come along.

There wasn't a lot keeping Breuning in Minnesota. His mother had died the year before at age 46 and his father died in 1915 at age 50. The Montana job came with a nice raise — $90 a month for working seven days a week, “a lot of money at that time,” he said.

Breuning, young and alone, was overwhelmed at first. Great Falls was a bustling town of 25,000 with hundreds of people coming and going every day on trains that arrived at all hours.

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The war ended in 1945 when President Harry Truman dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The debate over whether Truman did the right thing was argued in the streets and cafes of Great Falls.

Breuning stuck up for Truman, saying there probably would have been a lot more people killed had Truman not made the decision to bomb the Japanese.

“I think he did pretty dang good,” Breuning said. “But you know, all presidents done something good. Well, most of them. Except that last one.”

Breuning, a self-described Republican, meant President George W. Bush.

“He got us into war. We can't get out of war now,” he said. “I voted for him. But that's about all. His father was a pretty good president, not too bad. The kid had too much power. He got himself wrapped up and that's it.”

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Breuning had lived in a sparse studio apartment in the Rainbow Senior Living retirement center since 1980.

When he was recognized as the world's oldest man and brought the retirement home some notoriety, he was offered a larger room. Breuning said no, Rainbow executive director Tina Bundtrock said in October.

Breuning would spent his days in an armchair outside the Bundtrock's office in a dark suit and tie, sitting near a framed Guinness certificate proclaiming him the world's oldest man.

He would eat breakfast and lunch and then retire to his room in the early afternoon. He'd visit the doctor just twice a year for checkups and the only medication he would take was aspirin, Bundtrock said.

His good health was due to his strict diet of two meals a day, Breuning said.

“How many people in this country say that they can't take the weight off?” he said. “I tell these people, I says, ‘Get on a diet and stay on it. You'll find that you're in much better shape, feel good.’”

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Breuning talked current affairs with the other residents. One of his main causes was to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“War never cured anything. Look at the North and South right today. They're still fighting over the damn war. They'll never get over that,” he said.

Along with debating others about the fate of the nation, Breuning also spent time a lot of time reflecting. Sitting in his armchair, he would reach back across the century and lose himself in a flood of memories that began with his grandfather's Civil War stories.

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“Sometimes I wonder what would have happened had I not moved to Great Falls. I think about that once in a while. What would have happened?” Breuning said. “I had a good job back (in Minnesota). But life is good here too.”

But he didn't regret anything, and he implored others to follow his philosophy.

“Everybody says your mind is the most important thing about your body. Your mind and your body. You keep both busy, and by God you'll be here a long time,” he said.

Read the whole article at: http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/316079/

Wow, that is a really long time to live, could you imagine all the changes you would experience over that time?
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: World's oldest man dies in Montana at 114
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2011, 11:12:00 am »
Lazarus Long.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P

 

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