From the community

Portland resident nears 105th birthday

Posted Jan. 11, 2013, at 5:07 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 14, 2013, at 9:23 p.m.

More people are living well beyond 100 these days, but if you ask George Bales from Portland, Maine he’s got quite a life to discuss.

George Robert Bales was born in Jamesville, New York on January 25, 1908 long before there was modern medicine or technology. He’s approaching a monumental milestone two weeks from today. He’s the oldest living resident in Portland, and among the oldest living people in the state of Maine.

He doesn’t see as well as he used to, or hear quite as well, but he never misses a beat of words during a conversation. And, his mental agility remains astounding according to friends and family members. George maintains his sense of humor by telling jokes, and funny stories about his past.

George dates back to the Man on the Moon when astronaut Neil Armstrong flew up to the moon in 1969. “I remember watching Apollo 11 on their expedition to the moon”, said George during a recent interview a few weeks ago. “At around that time TV’s were black and white.”

George mentioned that colored TV’s were the greatest inventions he has seen throughout his long life. “It’s amazing now that we have a variety of different technologies out there”. He said. “Including all those huge plasma screens that were never around for most of my life”.

He attributes his longevity by keeping his mind sharp through literature. “Always find interesting books to read”. George said. “The more you read, the more fulfilling your life will be. You’ll probably get a more professional occupation if you read beyond your expectations”.

Longevity runs in George’s family. He had two aunts that lived to be 105 and 102. His mother passed away at 92, and his dad died at 98 years old. His older sister died at 100, and his younger sister lived to 94. In 1929 the Great Depression created devastating financial burdens throughout America.

Even though he’s doing well mentally, George’s physical conditions have deteriorated slightly in the past year or so. He uses a wheeled-walker to get around his residence at the Park Danforth Assisted Living in Portland. He can still walk around easily, but fatigues after awhile.

George moved to Park Danforth back in early-August, after his eldest daughter 69 year old Keren Peterson died from liver failure. Today he has 5 children, 14 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren including a baby just 3 months old. His youngest son Chris is 61 years old.

When Chris asked him how it feels to be almost 105, George replied, “It’s fine with me, as long as I feel good”.

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