Just look at this wonderful face.
You all know I love human interest stories, and I ran across a great one yesterday. This is Walter Bruening, the oldest man in the world. That's right, in the world. Yesterday was his birthday. He turned 114 years old.
Here he is celebrating his special day at the Rainbow Senior Living Home where he resides. Walter is somewhat of a celebrity. There are so many people wanting to come meet him and talk with him, the staff has to schedule appointments for him, or he would never have time to rest.
Walter showing a photograph of his elementary schoolhouse in Minnesota.
Can you imagine all the things he has seen in his long life?
There were many articles written about Walter yesterday, but I found 2 I liked that seemed to be more personal:
Walter Breuning celebrated on 114th birthday
Posted: Sep 21, 2010 2:22 PM by Fred Pfeiffer, Tim McGonigal - KRTV (Great Falls)
Updated: Sep 21, 2010 7:57 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2010 7:57 PM
GREAT FALLS - A birthday party for the ages on Tuesday afternoon in Great Falls, as Walter Breuning celebrated his 114th birthday.
Among his accomplishments are being the oldest living man in the world and the fourth-oldest person on the earth.
Governor Brian Schweitzer, a fact-checker for the Guinness Book of World Records, and fellow Masons were among the honored guests who helped Walter celebrate another milestone.
Breuning made a speech to the assembled guests, and among his pearls of wisdom: "Teach me still to be thankful for life...if you can remember me only with tears, then don't remember me at all...to get the most out of life, we should enjoy what we have accomplished."
Walter was born in Melrose, Minnesota in 1896, and took a job with the Great Northern Railway in 1913, moving to Great Falls five years later.
He was active in the Masons until the age of 99 and was a manager at the Rainbow Senior Living Facility - which he still calls home - until well past the age of 90.
Breuning is officially listed in the 2011 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living man; he inherited the title after the passing of Henry Allingham of England in July 2009.
Walter is only the sixth man ever documented to reach the age of 114; about 70 women have reached the milestone.
He's among the top 100 oldest people of all time, coming in at number 78.
And Robert Young, an expert on gerontology and a fact-checking consultant for the Guinness Book of Word Records, says Walter is in elite company when it comes to living a long life.
Young noted, "He's a man. Nine out of ten people that are aged 110 are females, and by age 112 it's 92% female. By age 115, 95% (are) female. So for him to be getting up there in the 114 range is getting to a range where very few males have ever reached that age."
GREAT FALLS - Walter Breuning of Great Falls is celebrating his 114th birthday, and the whole world is celebrating.
A birthday party for the world's oldest living man got underway on Tuesday afternoon at the Rainbow Senior Living Center in downtown Great Falls.
Among the attendees are Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records.
Breuning was born in 1896, the same year that Utah became a state. He has been honored throughout the years for his civic involvement and profiled on many TV shows and magazines, including CBS News last year when he celebrated his 113th birthday.
Walter inherited the title of Oldest Living Man after the passing of Henry Allingham in England in July 2009.
Breuning is the oldest undisputed American-born man ever, and is currently the 7th oldest man ever. He is one of only five men in history to undisputedly reach 114 years or more of age.
Montana Senator Jon Tester released the following statement to commemorate Walter's milestone: "Sharla and I join many proud Montanans in sending our congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Breuning. Born when our state was still a fledgling rough-and-tumble frontier, Mr. Bruening has seen most of the Treasure State's fascinating history unfold firsthand. Through 22 Montana governors, 21 U.S. presidents, two world wars, and the dawn of automobiles and airplanes-Walter has experienced it all. His long life has shaped Montana tremendously. Mr. Breuning is a living treasure himself, and today we all celebrate another notch in his remarkable life."
Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus introduced a resolution on the Senate floor today honoring Walter. Below is the text of Baucus' resolution is attached. The Senator's complete floor statement follows below:
"Mr. President, today I am introducing a resolution honoring Walter Breuning, the oldest living man in the world. Walter is celebrating his 114th birthday today. He was born in Melrose, Minnesota on September 21, 1896 and moved to Great Falls, Montana in 1918 while working for the Great Northern Railway. Walter is still a proud resident of Great Falls and delights fellow residents, staff, and visitors at The Rainbow Senior Living home."
"Despite all the honor and attention bestowed upon him for being the oldest living man in the world Walter is very humble. He has worked hard all his life and advises others to do the same. Walter began working for the Great Northern Railway at the age of 16 and gave 50 years of service to the railway. When he retired in 1963 Walter didn't stop working; he began a second career, one that would last until he was 99, as the manager and secretary of the Great Falls Shriner's Club. Community service has been a big part of Walter's life and when he visits with young people he encourages them to give back to their communities. Walter is a 33rd Degree Mason, the most advanced level for that fraternal organization."
"Walter has practiced healthy habits all his life, and those have contributed greatly to his longevity. He has eaten only two meals a day for the past 30 years and says he is most grateful for his good health over the years. These healthy habits have helped Walter live life to the fullest. He enjoys visiting with the many folks that come from all over to hear the insights of the oldest living man in the world."
"I am proud to join today with folks from around Montana and across the world in wishing Walter a very happy birthday. He is a great ambassador for our state and I thank him for all his community involvement and service over the years. He truly represents the best of Big Sky Country."
Walter talking about his life and today's day and age. The world needs more Walters. Happy 114th Walter :)
*all photos credit Associated Press and/or Getty Images