GREAT FALLS, MT: Imagine living for 114 years. Although it seems unfathomable to most, it is possible. The world’s oldest man, Montana resident Walter Breuning, proved it this week by celebrating his 114th birthday. Born September 21, 1896, in Melrose, Minnesota, Mr. Breuning worked for fifty years as a Great Northern Railway clerk.
In July 2009, Breuning was named the world’s oldest man when Briton Henry Allingham passed away at age 113. Before passing, Allingham still had his wits about him and joked that the secret to long life was “cigarettes, whiskey and wild, wild women — and a good sense of humor.” Hey, it worked for him!
While celebrating his birthday at his retirement community, Breuning had pseudo-celebrity status with visitors queuing up to speak with him. He gave a speech about ”the dark ages” which started in 1901 for his family. They moved to South Dakota and lived for 11 years without water, plumbing or electricity. When asked about mankind, he said people are able to enjoy life, but they can’t be truly happy without a belief or faith. Before he finished, he had a message for the crowd. Breuning said,
”With all the hatred in this world, in this good world, let us be kind to one another.”
That is the smartest thing I’ve heard all day.