Centenarian Spotlight

Each month we will be highlighting, honoring and appreciating a Centenarian who has generously invested their time to share their Wisdom and commentary on money, work and life with us - the Younger Generation.

Marianne Crowder

Marianne Crowder was a very special Centenarian I want to share with you. I met her when she was 102 and was immediately affected by her enthusiasm and zest for life. Her dedication to the community was really incredible. She was one of America's Oldest Living Girl Scouts. She was in remarkable shape. I couldn't believe it when she told me she had made an exercise video at the age of 88. Such an inspiration she was and still is. When I think about her love of people, health and fitness, it encourages me to push myself just a little bit more. Please enjoy the attached video. You can see some additional clips of our interview in the Cents on Richness, Cents on Saving and The Secret to 100 videos in the video gallery section of this website. Live Long and Large.

Table Tennis Extraordinaire- Centenarian John Donnelly

I was so impressed when it was my honor to interview Centenarian John Donnelly because of his extreme love for the sport of table tennis. When he was 100, he was on the Jay Leno Show as the Oldest Table Tennis Player Champion. He even challenged Jay to a game and won. This kind of drive and determination has always been a part of John and his love for life. His incredible business sense and work ethic started at a very early age and has continued throughout his life. Please enjoy the attached video of John sharing some of his work stories, life stories and a beautiful poem. Live Long. Laugh Hard. Love Life.

Thomas A. Glanton- Educator

Recently, it was my privilege interviewing an extraordinary educator and Centenarian, Thomas Glanton. I first saw him at his 100th birthday party and was astounded by how many people were in attendance to honor this man who has impacted so many lives. I was fortunate to sit down with him a short while later to find out exactly what it was that drew so many people to his celebration. Education has been a core component of his life. He went to Auburn University at the young age of 15 and graduated with a degree in architecture. His love for knowledge and education is what inspired him for the next 39 years to be a teacher, a coach, a principal and a friend. He is a role model and motivator to many. After spending my incredible afternoon with him, his list of enthusiasts grew by one more. Please view the attached video to see why.

A Special Visit with Centenarian Father Luke Kot

I recently spent some time with 100 year old Father Luke Kot who turned 100 on August 3, 2011. I really enjoyed learning about his journey through life so far. He is the last surviving monk that had traveled from Kentucky to Georgia to start the Trappist monastery where he still resides. Father Luke's detailed memories were incredible and his laugh so infectious. This man's life has been dedicated to God. When this path in life was chosen for him, he truly feels it is 'til death do me part.' His devotion to his calling is inspiring. Please take a moment to view the attached brief video and you will see what a dedicated and special servant of God he is.

Gordie Miller

Centenarian and World's Oldest Sailor- Gordie Miller

My wife Elaine and I met Gordie Miller and his beautiful wife, Margaret, in California. He was a sailor as a young man and continued his passion for sailing into his 100's. Enjoying several hours together including a delightful lunch at one of his favorite spots down on the water, I walked away with a new special friend for life. He was such an inspiration. His love for his wife and family was so touching, and his memories and stories were priceless. My favorite quote from Gordie that still makes me laugh to this day is when I asked him advice and wisdom about work, he said, "Work, I've forgotten how you spell that word." Actually, his work was a means to his end- making money to purchase sailboats to enjoy his hobby. Please take a minute to view the attached video and you too will see how special Gordie Miller was.

Dr. Leila Denmark

My very first interview for this wonderful Centenarian project was Dr. Leila Denmark, a SuperCentenarian at 110 and still vibrant and engaged in life to the fullest. She was a practicing pediatrician till age 103, wrote a best selling book entitled Every Child Should Have A Chance, and was part of the medical research team that discovered the vaccine for whooping cough. How impressive is that?!

Whenever I am speaking in the Atlanta area and mention Dr. Denmark, there is always someone who informs me she was their doctor or a member of their family. She even has an exit named after her on Georgia 400 highway!

The wisdom she has shared with me and countless others over the years is priceless. Indeed, in my mind she is a national treasure, and I hope you will take a minute to view the attached video to see and hear the valuable and enjoyable wit and wisdom of this extraordinary SuperCentenarian.

Garnett Cobb

I recently shared with you that I visited four of five Centenarians who happen to all live in the same retirement facility. They each have lived varied lives, but have all come together in this one place. It was so exciting to meet them and spend some time capturing their wit and wisdom. My second spotlight in this series of interviews is the beautifully petite Garnett Cobb. She is the second youngest of the Centenarians at 101. You will see in the attached video her great work advice and memories of the past.

Be sure to check out Maxine Brown, my first spotlight from this wonderful group of ladies. If you become a subscriber to the website homepage, you will receive the updates.

Maxine Brown

I recently visited four of five Centenarians who happen to all live in the same complex. They each have lived varied lives, but have all come together in this one place. How exciting it was to meet them and spend some time capturing their wit and wisdom. I had a fun-filled day laughing and learning with them. I will be spotlighting each one over the next few months and ultimately will show you all of them together. So stay tuned and keep checking back. If you become a subscriber on the website homepage, you will receive the updates.


My first spotlight is Maxine Brown. What a character Maxine is. She had some great stories and much to share about her 104 years. She is the oldest of the ladies. What a great smile! Watch the attached clip to see why she kept me laughing and smiling the whole time.


Walter Breuning

My dear friend Walter Breuning passed away April 14, 2011 at 114 years old.

I met Walter in 2009. What a remarkable man he was! His advice to younger generations was priceless. He felt everyone should work as long as they can, keep your mind and body busy, and do something for other people. Terrific words for us all to live by.

Walter lived each day to the fullest and brightened everyone’s life that he touched. I know he definitely had an impact on me and I am so blessed for having met him. I will always remember when he, with a smile and a chuckle, challenged me to stay fit enough to come to his 120th birthday party!

God Bless You Walter Breuning! We will miss you!

Besse Cooper

I am sure many of you have heard about SuperCentenarian Besse Cooper lately in the news. She is now the official Guinness World Records oldest living person in the world.

Ms. Besse is such a sweetheart. I had the privilege of first interviewing her back when she was 111. She was extremely funny and her stories of her childhood contained so much detail. She has a love for knowledge which she shared in talking about when she was a teacher. Be sure to check out the funny story she shared in the SuperCentenarian section of this website.

One of the things I had asked her back then was what she taught her children. She said she taught them to be honest, work for what they wanted and you can do anything you want to do if you just set your mind on it and start working. That is great advice for us all.

I just visited The Guinness Book of World Records Official Oldest Person in the World, Ms. Besse, again at the seasoned age of 114 ½. She invited me to her 115th birthday party this August and I plan on being there to help her blow out all her candles! She inspires me everyday to keep my goal of living to 120. Please check out the attached video which shows some footage from both my visits with Ms. Besse. She is a true example of Wit and Wisdom from this extraordinary generation.

Leslie Oldt

When I met Leslie a couple years ago, I could tell there was something really special about this remarkable Centenarian. Not only does he create thought provoking poetry (be sure to view him reciting a poem in the Wisdom video section), but he also stays incredibly active. The last time I saw him he took me up into his tree house that his son built for him. I remember telling him to go ahead and climb first and I will come behind you. Funny thing is, he told me to go ahead and go first in case I fall. He will catch me! That really brought a smile to my face.

I want to share some recent photos of him. So we already know that he writes fantastic poems, but he also stays active in his garden, bakes delicious bread and even gets up in the air regularly with his son. My life is so much richer for having met this special Centenarian. Take a look at a little more of Leslie Oldt in the attached clip.

Helen Hannah

I interviewed Ms. Helen Hannah back in June 2010. She had turned 100 a couple months earlier. I found Helen to be so vibrant. With her southern charm and an infectious laugh, I wanted to find out more about what made Helen so enchanting. As a young lady in Lynchburg, Virginia, she started her own business taking photographs of the locals. She really loved taking people's photos and still notes today that was one of the best decisions she ever made. Over the years she has been a very devoted mother to her four precious daughters that she treasures immensely. Today, Helen stays in great shape by taking water aerobics. I was bold enough to ask if I could join her at one of her classes and she happily said yes. You can see some footage of our time together in the attached clip.

Helen continues to live such a wonderful life. In December 2010, Lynchburg and the Fauber Art Gallery honored Helen Rhodes Hannah by displaying many of the photographs she took back in the 1940's. After all these years, it is amazing to hear how her gift for taking photos brought so many memories back to the community of Lynchburg.

Kathryn Dwinell

Born 105 years ago and raised on the plains of Nebraska, Kathryn Dwinell is a purposeful and charming Centenarian that survived the challenges of The Great Depression and the early part of the last century by living by her code of The Three Do's - make Do, Do Over, and Do Without.

Today, Ms. Dwinell continues to exercise at her health club, study and recite scripture, visit with anybody and everybody, and welcome each day with enthusiasm, humor, and a positive attitude.

Kathryn's goal is to live to the age of 120! As she says, "Doesn't matter if I make it or not. But it keeps me going!"