With Age Comes Wisdom: The Top 10 Elderly To Take Inspiration From

Once you have reached your golden years, what do you think is the legacy that you will be able to leave your family? Is it the beauty of a long and loving marriage, with an antique wedding album to show for it?

Is it the accomplishment of leaving a successful family business that you will allow your children and grandchildren to inherit? Is it the fame associated with having a long career in whatever industry it is that you excelled in?

Once people get old, these and more are the legacies that they would like to leave for the next generation to be inspired from.

Sure, you are bound to have made mistakes during the foolishness of your youth – but at the dawn of your life, it is the accomplishments which you have managed to achieve in your life which are all bound to stand out.

It’s quite easy to get inspiration from individuals with unusual talents, or those who make it a habit to do something good for other people. But while you’re at it, how about getting your daily dose of inspiration from the elderly?

There’s a maxim that with age comes wisdom, and there is definitely a good number of elderly people who have amazing stories to share.

Take a look at our list of the top 10 most inspirational older people, and use their stories to inspire you to reach whatever personal goals it is that you have.

Meet the Top 10 Most Inspirational Older People

They may not be as young as they used to be, but these top 10 inspirational older people are the ones to watch. Their stories gave the whole world hope that no matter what your age is, you can still do whatever it is that your heart has set out to do.

Now, it’s time for you to meet the top 10 most inspirational older people who come from all parts of the world:


1. Name: Ruth Hamilton

Born: 1898

Claim to Fame: One of the world’s oldest bloggers

ruth hamilton

It was on January 2008 that 109-year old Ruth Hamilton passed away. The day of her death was barely three months from her 110th birthday. What makes the story of Ruth Hamilton such an inspiration is that she is one of the world’s oldest bloggers.

For a long time now, a lot of people believed that the elderly cannot be bothered anymore to learn about how to use computers or the latest technological gadgets.

Apparently, Hamilton was not just able to use the computer at such an age – she also became an avid blogger. The woman who used to be a school teacher in Iowa was given a new lease in life through her video blog which was posted in GrowingBolder.com.

Her story’s really quite amazing because through them, her wit, wisdom and zest for life were showcased for all her Internet audience to see.

2. Name: Olive Riley

Born: October 21, 1899

Claim to Fame: One of the world’s oldest bloggers

olive riley

Like Ruth Hamilton, Olive Riley became popular for being the world’s oldest blogger.  Her personal journal on the web was called “The Life of Riley” which was launched in February of 2007. She was 107 at that time.

Riley’s final post on her blog was written on June 26, 2008 – right from the walls of a nursing home in Woy Woy, New South Wales.  She died at the age of 108 – but her thoughts will continue to live on through her blogs.

“The Life of Riley” accumulated more than 70 entries, and the world’s oldest blogger was even to post several videos on YouTube!

3. Name: Buster Martin

Born: 1906

Claim to Fame: The oldest employee and marathon runner

buster martin


His real name is Pierre Jean Martin, but he’s known as Buster. His inspirational story is that of being the United Kingdom’s oldest employee. Martin is now 102 years of age.

One of the more interesting anecdotes about Martin is that he refused to take a day off when he celebrated his 100th birthday.

The other thing which makes Martin such an inspirational elderly is the fact that despite reaching the 102-mark, he still is able to work for a plumbing company in southeast London.

His official job description is as a van cleaner. He could also have a shot at being the world’s oldest participant in a marathon.

However, Martin is not yet eligible for holding a Guinness Book of World Records title because he has not yet provided proof that he really is that old.

4. Name: Winifred Pristell

Born: 1938

Claim to Fame: Two world records in powerlifting, at the age of 70.

winifred pristell

If you think that you are suffering from having to sweat it out so much in the gym, how do you think you would feel if you have to do the same thing when you reach the age of 70?

This is exactly the claim to fame of Winifred Pristell, a 70-year old great grandmother who holds two powerlifting records.

What makes the story of Pristell unique is the fact that she started to join the fitness industry when she was already in her late 40’s. Pristell was suffering from excess weight back then.

So at the ripe old age of 60, she started to join competitions in powerlifting. Despite suffering from joint problems and arthritis, Pristell still engages in a workout session about two to three times a week.

5. Name: Arthur Winston

Born: 1906

Claim to Fame: The world’s most loyal employee

arthur winston

This one’s truly inspiring for those who would like to take real pride in their work. He passed away back in 2006 but when he was still alive, Arthur Winston became one of the most loyal employees ever in the world.

He works for the Los Angeles Metro for 72 years and during that time, he was never late to work – and he only took one day off during his entire career! For this, he was given a title as the company’s “Employee of the Century“. Winston was a ripe 100 when he retired from work. [Maintain Punctuality]

6. Name: Jennifer Figge

Born: 1952

Claim to Fame: The first woman to cross the Atlantic

jennifer figge



It’s difficult enough feat to pull off when you are at your physical peak, but what if you are a 56-year old woman? This was the exact age of Jennifer Figge when she became the first woman to ever swim across the Atlantic Ocean.

According to Figge, she did dream of crossing the Atlantic ever since the 1960’s. When she was crossing the Cape Verde Islands, she had to swim through 9-meter high waves and really strong winds. Despite the challenges, Figge was still able to pull off the feat.

7. Name: Ron Cunningham

Born: 1913

Claim to Fame: The world’s greatest escapologist

ron cunningham

Nothing beats the feeling of watching a magician in action, but it’s even better if the performer is someone like Ron Cunningham. He passed away in 2007 – he was 92 back then.

The part of his life story that you can draw inspiration from is the fact that he was an escapologist who was even using fire in his stunts. This is despite his old age. His last act as an escapologist came in 2005 at the Bedford Tavern in Brighton.

8. Name: Bernie Marks

Born: 1930

Claim to Fame: The oldest man to have a bar mitzvah

bernie marks

Sure, this story may have something to do with religion, but it’s exactly what makes it inspirational. Bernie Marks is actually a Holocaust survivor.

At the age of 78 years, he was able to fulfill the wish of every Jewish man – to have bar mitzvah that will symbolize his passage to manhood. During the ceremony, his daughters and grandchildren watched from the sidelines.

9. Name: Mary Jane Rathbun

Born: 1923

Claim to Fame: “Brownie Mary”, a Medical Cannabis activist

mary jane rathbunBetter known as Brownie Marie, Mary Jane Rathbun inspired the San Francisco Board of Supervision to declare August 25 as “Brownie Mary Day”.

When she was still young, Rathbun became active as a medical cannabis activist who baked brownies for everyone.

10. Name: Father Theodore Heck

Born: 1901

Claim to Fame: The oldest Benedictine monk in the world.

father theodore heckFather Theodore Heck was about to celebrate his 80th anniversary as a priest, but he was unable to do so anymore because he passed away before it. Father Heck served as a monk at the Saint Meinrad ArchaAbbey in Southern Indiana.

What makes the story of Father Heck inspiring is not just that he’s the world’s oldest monk, he also is the type of man who had to learn something new everyday and he was also instrumental at revolutionizing the way monks were educated in the seminary.

If these inspirational elderly people can accomplish such feats at their age, why shouldn’t you be able to do so, too?



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