Published on July 8th, 2001 | by


Doctors Looking for Secrets of Centenarians Success

John LaFauci, a 101-year-old who publishes a weekly newsletter for his Smithfield, R.I., retirement complex, swears it’s good genes, and his avoidance of beef.

Helen Rose, 100, a retired teacher in Waterloo, Iowa, credits a love of learning and Jesus.

…”I wasn’t one to run to the doctor with every little pain,” said Rose, who put more stock in the Bible study she continues to this day at her Iowa retirement home.

“We have vespers, and I go in my wheelchair.

“Paying attention to the physical is important, but we also need to have a spiritual life too.

Christian Mortensen died in San Rafael, Calif., three months ago at the age of 115. Although the Bible’s Moses, Saint Patrick of Ireland and other historical figures supposedly lived longer, Mortensen was the oldest man whose age has been fully verified.

In his last few years, “he was blind and could no longer walk on his own, but he was mentally aware and could carry on an intelligent conversation almost until the end,” wrote John Wilmoth, a demographics researcher at the University of California at Berkeley who visited Mortensen regularly. “He always preferred a VEGETARIAN DIET and said the key to longevity is to ‘live a good, clean life.’ ”

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