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World’s oldest man dies aged 114

April 15
Published on 15 Apr. 2011 11:54 PM IST
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Walter Breuning, the world’s oldest man and the second oldest person, has died aged 114 from natural causes. He died in a Montana hospital after being admitted at the beginning of February with an undisclosed illness.
He attributes his long life to eating only two meals a day - because ‘that’s all you need’ - working as long as you can, embracing change, helping others and of course, accepting death.
He said the last one was a lesson he learned from his grandfather, proclaiming: ‘We’re all going to die. Some people are scared of dying. never be afraid to die. Because you’re born to die.’
Walter’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. He recalls he was only three years old and was horrified: ‘I thought that was a hell of a thing to say.’ But the stories stuck, becoming the first building blocks into what would develop into a deceptively simple philosophy that Walter credited to his longevity.
Walter started working on the rail roads when he was 16, the start of a 50-year career when he worked seven days a week for $90, which he said was ‘big money’ at the time. He signed up to the war but was never called up.
Just as women were given the right to vote in 1919, Walter bought his first car while horses were still clopping around the streets - a second-hand Ford which cost $150.
He met his wife Agnes at work, who he remained married to until she died in 1957. They had no children.
Work was a constant in Walter’s life, what he did to get through the hard times and what he used to keep his mind active. One of the worst things a person can do is retire young, Walter said.
Walter lived in a studio apartment in the Rainbow Senior Living retirement Centre since 1980. He would spend 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.

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