r/MadeMeSmile Sep 02 '22 Silver 2 Helpful 4 Wholesome 9 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Heartwarming 1 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1

Until her recent retirement, Betty Reid Soskin was the oldest living Park Ranger in the US National Park Service at the age of 100. Helping Others

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58.4k Upvotes

1.7k

u/everydayasl Sep 02 '22

I respect and admire when a person continues to do something they love.

451

u/trackonesideone Sep 02 '22

And you can always tell when the root of what they do is simply because they love what they're doing. Finding a place where one belongs--and in doing so, their vibrance spreads to everyone around them.

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22 Bravo! Giggle

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u/BigDogFeegDog Sep 03 '22

Just started teaching at a new school. Met a teacher who has been teaching for over 40 years. I asked her how much longer she wants to teach for. She said she made a promise to herself that the day she wakes up and doesn’t want to go to work is the moment she’ll quit.

The point being, you’ll never work a day in your life if you pursue something you love.

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u/SenorBeef Sep 02 '22

Much more so if what they do makes the world a better place.

6

u/wasteofleshntime Sep 03 '22

thats the true dream. Being able to spend the rest of your life doing something you love.

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u/Hohuin Sep 02 '22

Me too, but I cannot praise US retirement system or the lack of it.

27

u/studmuffffffin Sep 03 '22

Highly doubt she was doing this because she didn’t have enough money saved.

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/Chipmunk_Whisperer Sep 03 '22

It’s a government job, she would have had a great retirement set up and in this instance she seems to be doing it because she wants to. She probably would have been paid the same or more in retirement and was essentially working for free.

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u/fates_bitch Sep 03 '22

Pretty much. Under CSRS you max out your retirement after 40 years at 80% of your high 3. She might have made a little more working that her pension - but maybe not - as I'm guessing she maxed out on Grade/Step as well around that time.

Feds don't give their employees COL adjustments but federal pensions do - so there are many years of essentially pay cuts when taking into account inflation.

e.g. for 2022 federal employees got a 2.7% raise whereas the pension COLA was 5.9%

So over a few decades that 80% might have grown to surpass her salary.

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

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u/Zions_Wrath Sep 03 '22

It’s a federal government job I’m sure she could have retired if she wanted to.

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u/idkmybffdoggo Sep 03 '22

There are a ton of boomers hanging on bc they can't retire. An 80yo retired a few weeks ago, still many others hanging on past retirement age. My other friend was over 70 when she retired, now she does contact work.

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u/Sskity Sep 03 '22

Man if my job involved going into a national park i would do it until i died, im sure her retirement will consist of being in a national park.

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u/thrillhouse1211 Sep 02 '22

That is absolutely true but in this single instance I think she did it because she wanted to.

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

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u/Smegmatron3030 Sep 03 '22

This lady was doing this because she liked it. I promise there are old ladies in France running vineyards or bakeries or whatever for the same reason. She could have retired decades ago.

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u/isweartodarwin Sep 03 '22

Yeah, I wouldn’t jump to this conclusion here… I get the point you’re trying to make but this is the wrong tree to bark up. gov employees get a pretty healthy pension that’s dependent on time served. She could’ve retired at 65 and done okay with the way fed structures 99% of their employees’ retirement plans.

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u/NESpahtenJosh Sep 02 '22

"Until her recent retirement at the age of 100, Betty Reid Soskin was the oldest living park ranger in the US National Park Service. She gave bi-weekly lectures at the Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park in Richmond, California, telling the story of the Bay Area’s pioneering role in desegregation. After one of her lectures, Betty agreed to be photographed. At first, she wanted to keep her trademark sunglasses on, then she relented and proceeded to look straight into the lens for the entire shoot. Afterwards, I watched her climb a flight of stairs faster than I could, which really gave me pause" // Photo by Frederic Aranda for the September 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller

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u/whatproblems Sep 02 '22

where’s the trademark sunglasses look!

404

u/well_shoothed Sep 02 '22

Nearest I could find in a quick search...

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u/Tagtickle_Jay Sep 03 '22

That’s badass!

55

u/Penla Sep 03 '22

Yea shes really cool!

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u/AliasInvstgtions Sep 03 '22

Aww I was hoping for aviators. That would've been badass lol. These glasses almost give her a warden vibe.

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u/NESpahtenJosh Sep 02 '22

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u/MikoSkyns Sep 02 '22

I guess someone could shop those glasses and tint the lenses.

53

u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/Life-Violinist9322 Sep 02 '22

Super Trooper

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u/amesann Sep 03 '22

I wish I could have listened to her lectures before she retired. It would have been an honor.

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u/edmanet Sep 03 '22

Happy to know she was able to retire. Lucky.

817

u/lapsangsouchogn Sep 02 '22 Narwhal Salute

As an FYI, she started working for them at age 84.

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u/fantasticfluff Sep 02 '22

THIS is inspiring

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u/ambassador321 Sep 02 '22

This is!! I don't think I'll ever be able to afford to retire - so nice to know someone could still hire me in my 80's!

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

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u/fantasticfluff Sep 03 '22

I read her story as it was her choice and desire that kept her there- not a financial need. If it was out of financial need that would definitely change things from heartwarming and awesome to dystopian nightmare.

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

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u/fantasticfluff Sep 03 '22

Really? You wouldn’t want to still be out there at 100 in that kind of shape and doing something meaningful? As a disabled person I constantly feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything I want, this puts it in perspective for me.

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

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u/misplaced_my_pants Sep 03 '22

You don't choose to work for the park service at 84 because you have to.

She's not a Walmart greeter.

She's doing this because she wants to.

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u/vertigoelation Sep 03 '22

Not the same person... But no. I'd want to be doing whatever I feel like doing wherever I feel like doing it. I also feel like there isn't enough time to do what I want and the last thing I'd want to do is be working to 100 and still feeling that way.

Being able to work till you're 100 is impressive. If she was doing what she wanted to and not because she needed to, that would be one thing...

But because America has one of the most screwed up work cultures in the developed world it's hard to find this story inspiring even if there is no reason not to.

We're constantly being told we're too lazy or not worth as much as we are or we shouldn't take a day off because we're screwing over our co-workers. Meanwhile managers aren't hiring enough people or paying proper salary and the list goes on.

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u/ctortan Sep 02 '22

Oh wow! She looks amazing for 100!! That’s so great for her

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u/ProcedureAltruistic3 Sep 02 '22

I firmly believe it's how you live your life. My grandmother passed at 92 and she was a shell of what this woman still is at 100. I've seen 60-year-olds not able to cross the street meanwhile one of my grandmother's best friends in the world was 98 and still a belly dancer. I'm sure genetics has a lot to do with it but doing something you love and never letting anything stop you probably has much more

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u/WeirdAttorney4795 Sep 02 '22

I jokingly say this but my grandma king will out live us all. She’s 90 still drives. She lost her sight in one eye as a kid. Does all her own grocery shopping. Survived Covid. Has a garden and wakes up at 6 am she’s a beast. Doctors says she’s a medical anomaly. She’s never sick(besides Covid). Even then her case was mild. I love her so much

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u/speedycat2014 Sep 03 '22

I started weight lifting and working out 5 days a week when I turned 49. 18 months of this so far and I feel better than I did in my 30's!

And my dad is traipsing around Paris right now, 10,000+ steps a day at the age of 82. He lives there 6 months out of the year and his meme game is as strong as mine. I hope I'm as young as him at 82.

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u/UnreadThisStory Sep 02 '22

I guarantee this woman doesn’t eat fried chicken, cheeseburgers, and Mountain Dew on a regular basis

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u/ProcedureAltruistic3 Sep 02 '22

Does that by definition mean she doesn't play warcraft?

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u/SUPERSMILEYMAN Sep 03 '22

She probably doesn't yell racist and sexist comments online either.

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u/ProcedureAltruistic3 Sep 03 '22

So I am taking that to mean this lady is definitely not a 15-year-old incel. I know they say don't judge a book by its cover but looking at this lady makes me feel like she's done good things for people her whole life and I hope that that's true because she does look like a sweet old lady

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u/jdeezy Sep 02 '22

She said in an interview that her grandmother was a slave. Our country really isnt that old

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u/Salvatore_Tessio Sep 02 '22

When you hear second hand accounts, they seem so far away. Then comments like that come out and the perspective of how recent they are comes to light.

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u/barge1524 Sep 02 '22

It is called the "New World" after all

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u/Ok-Kaleidoscope5627 Sep 02 '22

Yep. People are still alive that have directly suffered the effects of slavery... And people still want to insist that racism isn't a thing anymore and everyone should just move on and stop talking about it.

What kind of opportunities or upbringing does someone have when their parents were slaves? What are the odds they were allowed let alone had the money to go to college or take part in society on an equal basis. Its going to take many generations still.

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u/ninjasaid13 Sep 03 '22

And slavery was not that long ago.

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/OakBlueShirt Sep 03 '22

The US Government was paying out a Civil War pension until 2020.

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u/bulltin Sep 03 '22

very true, john tyler was born in 1790, 3 years after the constitution, and his grandson is still alive today.

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u/Tristshot Sep 03 '22

This woman became a Park Ranger at 84 and stopped being one at 100, because she retired.

What a fucking power move.

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u/lkmama Sep 02 '22

If you ever have a chance, and happen to be in Richmond, CA (it’s not really a destination type of town), this is a lovely small museum located in the historic Kaiser Shipyards. It’s located directly next door to an old Ford Plant which if is open, is a really beautiful old building to go inside and check out. It’s located directly on the water on the east side of the SF Bay and has amazing views.

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u/PlayfulKiller Sep 03 '22

I always pass by there when I come off from the Richmond bridge. It’s pretty sketchy but I should visit there. Thank you for the info

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u/drwiki0074 Sep 02 '22

A life with purpose. Amazing.

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u/PresOrangutanSmells Sep 03 '22

If only we can all be so lucky to find such a nice job to work right up until we die :)

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/Drunken_Fever Sep 02 '22

Oh she is in her mid-60s? Ill only have to wait a year or two before she retires.

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u/Vegabern Sep 02 '22

The US Forest service is DESPERATE for employees right now.

I know you were joking though.

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u/kadargo Sep 02 '22

This is the National Park Service. It’s very difficult to find jobs with the NPS.

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u/Vegabern Sep 02 '22

Yeah, just a pitch for the US Forest service.

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u/cdb5336 Sep 02 '22

Ranger here. Your not wrong! But it is possible, i promise

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u/PlayfulKiller Sep 03 '22

I wish I could join but I need to learn how to properly swim and get my eyes fixed since I wear glasses 😞

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u/TipYourDishwasher Sep 03 '22

Also demonstrates how park rangers aren’t seen as a “real” job. Lots of hoops to jump through for a full time position. Lots of position descriptions targeting specific individuals. The NPS is drastically underfunded and underpaid

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u/nodnodwinkwink Sep 03 '22

Another commenter says that she started working for them at 84.

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u/IamAbc Sep 03 '22

Not to make this thread seem negative but depending on how long she worked for the service I’d feel like I would hate to work under her. A lot of jobs suck because you want to do something new and they’re all entirely old school and won’t innovate anything or have no idea how young people are and don’t know anything about us. She could totally be the opposite though but in my experience that’s how it goes.

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

Older than many trees

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u/foolwithabook Sep 02 '22

She's written a book, and hosted a blog for a long time: CBreaux Speaks

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u/LegitimateOrdinary51 Sep 03 '22

I have the privilege of meeting this person in real life. An amazing life story.

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u/bubbab315 Sep 03 '22

Honestly doesnt look 100

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u/Snickers4u Sep 02 '22

Seriously, I would not retire either when you get to introduce people to America's National Parks. They still get the random dipstick; but wow, your workspace is amazing. We went to Meteor Crater in AZ and the ranger looked to be way past retirement age. You drive up to the crater from flat land. He talked about the Meteor size and how it lifted the whole area up a mile or so when it hit. It gave us perspective.

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u/Dana_Scully_42 Sep 02 '22

This is so impressive

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u/Miss-Independence Sep 02 '22

You go grandma!

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u/Jesouhaite777 Sep 02 '22

At least she didn't spend her retirement years on the couch talking about the good ole days

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u/YellowWizard99 Sep 02 '22

I wish I had a job I loved so much that I'd never retire.

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u/Agariculture Sep 02 '22

I have never met someone 100 years old. She looks so amazing! I would love to have a lunch with her to hear stories. My treat! (That goes for any 100 year old!)

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u/henners32 Sep 02 '22

This picture goes hard. Love it.

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u/JackieChanX95 Sep 02 '22

Fucking dope

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u/Das_Guet Sep 02 '22

The stories she has to tell...I'd love to just sit and listen.

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u/respeckt_ya_girl Sep 03 '22

She tells stories for the moth! They have a podcast, or you could look them up on their site.

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

A-MAZING👏👏👏

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u/ToxicM1ndfulness Sep 02 '22

Proof that staying mobile/active slows the aging process

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u/PurpleFishInside Sep 02 '22

I think its being happy and loving what you do but who knows. she definitely looks so good for 100 years old.

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u/hex_1101 Sep 02 '22

She looks like she will put the grandma smack down on you if you break a rule. Glad she was able to do what she loved for so long.

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u/LieutenantNitwit Sep 03 '22

I can barely keep my fat body upright in this chair and here's this woman, literally twice my age just out there doin' her thang. Could prolly bench me if she wanted, too.

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u/mmikerhodes Sep 03 '22

I bet she has some amazing stories!

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u/Unfairlyhacked Sep 02 '22

Beautiful woman. America strong. 👏🏻👏🏻

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/Tagtickle_Jay Sep 03 '22

Why not? If you’re truly passionate about something, you should absolutely go for it, as long as you are willing and able. Even if you’re 100 years old!

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u/ItzBreezeyBaby Sep 02 '22

I want to know what these Betty’s are doing to stay healthy & live til 100 cause she looks damn good

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u/Valuable-Jicama6810 Sep 02 '22

Ty for the service lady. And am not even from usa.. Respect the dedication

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u/basshed8 Sep 02 '22

Bet she knows awesome side quests or operates a legendary weapons shop

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u/Over-Standard1242 Sep 03 '22

What a champion and what an innings. Thank for loving mother nature the way you do. Thank you for your service. Your a beautiful human being.

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u/grungru234 Sep 03 '22

Met this lady during pride seemed pretty chill

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u/Callobg7 Sep 03 '22

She's beautiful! Reminds me of my Big Mama. 🙏🏿

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u/DickFitzenur Sep 03 '22

Heavily admirable with jobs that aren’t about the money and actually include physical work. This woman is an inspiration for all

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u/aWildStormyAppeared Sep 03 '22

Thank you, Betty ❤️

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u/longster37 Sep 03 '22

I bet that awesome woman has seen some shit in her life of service to our wonderful national parks.

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u/Immortan-ho Sep 02 '22

Would totally love for her to write me up for something out there. Very cool.

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u/The_Irish_Rover26 Sep 02 '22

I’m going to be honest, I thought this was an image from r/midjourney

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u/GodsGiftToNothing Sep 02 '22

I really, quite profoundly, respect this lady. What a tremendous career, doing something she is passionate about, and helping this world. Astonishing.

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u/TrentS45 Sep 02 '22

All that hiking did wonders for her

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u/BelGrek Sep 02 '22

Woow thats so cool, she def loved her job, u love to see people living there dreams

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u/PorQ201 Sep 02 '22

God Bless her Heart ❤️.

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u/mdfromct Sep 02 '22

A total inspiration. “Health is wealth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

Brilliant!

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u/FakeNameAss3 Sep 02 '22

Imagine the wisdom she imparted on all those park visitors. Hope she enjoys retirement.

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u/pmllny Sep 02 '22

Right on.

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

Looks good for 100

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u/Colonelfudgenustard Sep 02 '22

You're not a real park ranger unless you've been struck by lightning at least twice.

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u/DumpsterPanda8 Sep 02 '22

And not one to be trifled with.

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u/maaalicelaaamb Sep 02 '22

Dude. Most earnded ‘tirement ever. I can see the scotch on the rocks & deer hide slippers, maybe a handsome cocker spaniel resting his head on her lap

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u/Xieix1827 Sep 02 '22

I read " Power Ranger " and was a bit confused.

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u/Atherutistgeekzombie Sep 02 '22

Still love that she's only retired

The world is better with nature-loving folks in it

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u/PredatorAvPFan Sep 02 '22

Damn she’s 100? Doesn’t look older than 70. Guess doing what you love does wonders for you

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u/VoidDoesgames Sep 02 '22

Ok but she doesn't look 100 AT ALL, she looks like she's doing well!

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u/SneedIrwin Sep 02 '22

So admirable. I hope to be in such good condition at 100!

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u/Anonymous54887 Sep 02 '22

Now that’s the real mother nature

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u/ItsMeRyGuy262 Sep 02 '22

She looks pretty good for 100 ;)

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u/Tommy8972 Sep 02 '22

Dang, for a second I thought she was a DI and was scared

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u/PbkacHelpDesk Sep 03 '22

I would stay alive that long to enjoy nature for sure.

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u/Robyx Sep 03 '22

Damn she looks like a she got at least 20 good years in her to enjoy her retirement.

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

That woman knows the wisdom of the forest!

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u/Unusual_Specialist58 Sep 03 '22

Wow she looks great!!

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u/swoocha Sep 03 '22

This is awesome.

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u/Mochi-Girl248 Sep 03 '22

May I say she looks amazing!

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u/thequickerquokka Sep 03 '22

Hey, what a great idea for a post ;-)

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u/Holiday-Strategy-643 Sep 03 '22

She looks amazing!

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u/MustangMimi Sep 03 '22

Love her!!!! 🙏🥰

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u/DingDongDanger1 Sep 03 '22

What a lovely woman <3 I am impressed at how healthy she looks for 100! Good on her.

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u/a_ewesername Sep 03 '22

Betty, you're a legend.

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u/cubs1917 Sep 03 '22

Dang now that's a lady

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u/PuttinOnTheTitzz Sep 03 '22

That's my friends mom!

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u/Independence_1991 Sep 03 '22

That’s gotta be tuff leaving what you love to do in life…

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u/Apotheosis___ Sep 03 '22

Welcome to Moonrise Kingdom..

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u/thrust-the-process Sep 03 '22

What a fucking legend

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u/SMILESandREGRETS Sep 03 '22

I would love to listen to the stories and experiences she's had throughout her career.

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u/gloricle Sep 03 '22

Dear god, she looks really good!

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u/tyronetoads Sep 03 '22

We love you Betty!!xx

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u/Educational-Bug-476 Sep 03 '22

She’s got good genes

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u/Lazydude17 Sep 03 '22

what a queen

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u/IFixGuitars Sep 03 '22

I’m curious, was she still working because she wanted to, or did she have to keep working to survive?

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u/NESpahtenJosh Sep 03 '22

She most certainly didn’t have to. She didn’t even start with the NPS until she was 85.

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u/IFixGuitars Sep 03 '22

That’s good to hear! I’m always dubious when I hear about elderly folks working. It rarely turns out that they are choosing to do it IMO

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u/fuzz49 Sep 02 '22

God Bless!

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u/[deleted] Sep 03 '22

She looks wonderful for 100 and it's fantastic that she still had the physical and cognitive capacity to work! That said, it's horrible that anyone of that age (given our current lack of indefinite biological immortality) should have to work. I truly hope she enjoyed what she was doing, but that she didn't do it in order to be able to survive.

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/UnreadThisStory Sep 02 '22

She probably is a nihilist

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u/bobbybigwheel34 Sep 02 '22

She fixes the cable?

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u/Miguenzo Sep 03 '22

I hope she stayed because she loved her job and not because of financial hardship. At some point, I believe, you have to step away and enjoy your retirement

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u/Waarm Sep 03 '22

Can someone explain like I'm five what park rangers do? Are they basically just forest cops?

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/PurpleFishInside Sep 02 '22

That's really unnecessary. Let's see how good you look at half her age!

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/NESpahtenJosh Sep 02 '22

Wtf is wrong with you?

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u/PurpleFishInside Sep 02 '22

Right?? What is wrong with all these people and their horrid comments about this lovely woman.

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u/NESpahtenJosh Sep 02 '22

The anonymity of the Internet allows them to be scum

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u/RammyJammy07 Sep 02 '22

Mountain air does wonders on the skin, doesn’t look over 90

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u/[deleted] Sep 02 '22

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u/NESpahtenJosh Sep 02 '22

Chose to. Not obligated.

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u/cosmoboy Sep 02 '22

Or the alternative is that she had a job/coworkers that she loved enough to not want to retire.

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u/i-lurk-you-longtime Sep 02 '22

Semi retirement could be a beautiful option for people that truly do enjoy their careers. Personally once I retire I plan on volunteering everywhere I can (vs the select opportunities I have time for at present) but if I loved my job THAT much I wouldn't mind going a few times a month or week and getting paid for it ;)

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u/jlusk1984 Sep 03 '22

She started at age 84.