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Gianforte, DPHHS Honors Centenarians

Montana Centenarians were honored in Butte at the Copper King Hotel and Convention Center during a special luncheon Oct. 5.

Gov. Gianforte was on hand to welcome and celebrate with the Centenarians in attendance.

“Montana Centenarians are absolute treasures,” Gov. Gianforte said. “They have lived life to the fullest and bring so many experiences with them. It was an honor to celebrate with them today in Butte and learn about their amazing lives.”

The luncheon was part of the 53rd annual Governor’s Conference on Aging with the theme ‘Rock Your Age: Communities of Strength.’

The Department of Public Health and Human Services recently asked these individuals their secret to longevity, the most amazing event in their life, a favorite quote and various other insights into their lives. All those who submit their information this year will receive a recognition proclamation from Gov. Gianforte.

The centenarians who responded to DPHHS include those who are or will turn age 100 by the end of 2022. The list includes: one 106-year old, one 104-year-old, one 103-year-old, two 102-yearolds, four 101-year-olds and 23 100-year-olds.

Here are some of the Centenarian responses: Patricia Erickson, 101, Kalispell.

Erickson was born in Whitefish and she raised her five children in Montana. She loves to hike and walk in the mountains. She says her secret to longevity is to have a great sense of humor, hard work and a great outlook on life.

Ostby said her secret to longevity is staying busy. Some of her favorite quotes are: “You get what you expect.” “You play the cards you’re dealt.”

Clifford Gangstad, 100, Billings. Gangstad was born on the family farm without a doctor. When he was born, his father came outside and told his two brothers and two sisters: “It’s a boy, and it’s a big one.” His greatest accomplishment was that he loved his family farm so much he grew up to own it.

Helen Meyer, 100, Anaconda.

Meyer’s secret to longevity is never skip a meal, exercise and stay active. The most amazing event in her life was growing up on the farm. She said there was no running water to the house. She remembers long rides to town in the horse and buggy which were two to three hours one way. She is happy with her claim to fame of turning age 100.

John Morgan, 101, Missoula.

Morgan explains his secret to longevity is good food, good work etiquette, getting outdoors to fish, hunt and trap, helping family, and being a non-smoker. His favorite quote is: “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Mickael Tieg, 106, Lebo.

When Tieg was younger, the Lebo Post Office was operated out of the family home. He was the eighth of 11 children, and all were born on the family farm. When he was 100, he taught himself to play the violin.

The conference’s mission was to raise the public’s awareness of the state’s current senior population, as well as providing lifestyle choices. The conference included numerous keynote sessions, focusing on the State Plan on Aging, the future of Senior & Long Term Care and action steps on elder abuse. Breakout sessions and panel discussions focused on caregiver/respite programs, senior center programs, senior hunger and redefining retirement.

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