Centenarian Stories

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In addition to studying the genetics and lifestyles associated with longevity, part of our goal is to share the historical and personal stories of our centenarians. We believe that they are living historical treasures, and that their insight is invaluable.

These interviews were made possible by the generoussSupport of the William M. Wood Foundation.

Ike Newcomer, 107, is interviewed by AARP with five generations of his family.

Marguerite Robertson, age 110, shares stories of her childhood in Nova Scotia, local history, rural volunteer efforts, and some words of wisdom.

Rose Kaufman, age 104, remembers some new inventions, major events, and childhood entertainment.

Austin Dunn, age 108, remembers the advent of air travel, delivering milk in his small town, and the importance of voting.


Doris Smith, age 107, talks with her friend Joan about her first ride in a car, the advent of social security, and living on Nantucket.


Elinor Downs, age 106, shares stories of her careers as a researcher and archaeologist, her experiences during WWII, as well as good advice she’s gotten over the years.


Videos and photos of Brunette Nelms, age 108, participating in some of her favorite activities, from tai chi to dancing with her family!


In a 2-part video made by family friend Tyler Wing, Gertrude Ella Ellison, age 110, talks about farming in South Dakota during the great depression, teaching at a rural school near the Standing Rock reservation, and dancing with Lawrence Welk.


Retired navy diver and teacher, and current author, Rudy, age 105, demonstrates his regular exercise routine.


Barney Myers, 107, is interviewed by his family about his childhood growing up in South Dakota.

Photo by Kelly Gorham, Montana State University, 2014

Clara Herrman, 106, was interviewed by Author David Cohen about her life. Read an excerpt featuring Clara from his book 1000 Years of Memories. You can find the entire book at 1000yearsofmemories.com.



Ned Broyles, now 103, shares stories of his time serving in the Navy, before, during, and after WWII.