Five Life Lessons From Wyoming’s Oldest Man On His 107th Birthday
Happy birthday, Lloyd Baker. Born May 17, 1911, the oldest man in the Cowboy State is still going strong at 107. Here are a few lessons we can learn from his remarkable life.
1. It's All About Family - Lloyd was the oldest of eight children, most of whom lived into their 90s. In 1940, he married Edna Welborn. Together, they had five children, 17 grandchildren, and over 40 great-grandchildren. Experts say strong family bonds can help you live longer.
2. The Value Of Hard Work - Lloyd grew up on a dairy farm settled by his grandparents in 1888. When he wasn't milking cows or babysitting his brothers and sisters, he was an honor roll student and star baseball player. After designing shipyards during World War II, he opened a surveying company, which is still in business. Lloyd continued to work full-time until the age of 105 when he finally retired.
"Retirement is for old people and I don’t plan to get that way," he told a reporter at his 104th birthday party.
3. The Importance of Education - When Lloyd graduated from Star Valley High School, the Great Depression had just begun. While his friends were struggling to find work, he set out for the University of Wyoming with $9 to his name.
“I rode on top of the train,” he told the Star Valley Independent in 2011. “I arrived in Laramie with a black face because trains were powered by coal at the time. I had to get off the train as it started to slow down outside of Laramie because if they found you riding on top of the train they’d put you in jail."
Lloyd paid his way through college working as a railroad courier and graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. His love of learning continued later in life when he was a professor at an engineering college in Boise, Idaho.
4. Keep Singing and Dancing - Lloyd's favorite song is "Let The Rest Of the World Go By". Originally composed by Ernie Ball in 1919, the song has been performed by several legendary artists over the years, including Gene Autry, Pat Boone, and Willie Nelson. But nobody sings it better than Lloyd does.
5. Treat Yourself - Lloyd's active lifestyle and work ethic have served him well through the years. But he also credits his longevity to a diet of sweet and salty snacks, which includes a bag of peanut M+M's every day.