109-Year-Old Who Still Drives Every Day Offers Simple Advice for Living a Long Life
Vincent Dransfield does not let his age define him.
At 109 years old, he still drives himself around town, and joked that he also “drives people crazy.”
He lives on his own in Little Falls, New Jersey, where he has been since 1945.
His family says he needs no help navigating between stories of the home and is able to do mundane tasks such as laundry on his own.
Remarkably, Dransfield is also the oldest firefighter at the Little Falls Volunteer Fire Department. Though he is not as active as he once was, he’s still on the roster at Singac Engine Company No. 3– an impressive feat. He has occupied the position for over 80 years, and at one point was even the chief.
At the age of 109, Dransfield still has the same sharp wit and humor he always has. When asked about how he feels at 109, he responded, “How do I feel? Let’s go out to dance somewhere. How about that? That’s how I feel.”
He has remained in great physical shape as well, to the awe of those that know him.
“He doesn’t get back aches. He doesn’t get the daily aches and pains that I, at 48, get,” says Erica Lista, one of Dransfield’s seven great-grandchildren. “He doesn’t get headaches, anything like that. It’s crazy.”
Words From the Wise Elder
Dransfield shared some important tips for living not only a long life, but a fulfilling one.
When asked what brought him happiness and kept him going in life, he attributes it to the fire department. “I met so many friends,” he says.
His granddaughter notes that the crew became his family, especially after the loss of his wife. He always prioritizes doing what he loves and credits his longevity in part to the community around him. He also credits another unexpected part of his life– milk.
Dransfield left school after 8th grade and went to work for a dairy farm at only 15 to help support his family.
He delivered milk for five years and drank it constantly, which he claims bolstered his health — especially during the Great Depression in the 1930s when food was scarce.
That being said, apparently, he hasn’t been particularly mindful of his diet throughout his life. Though he generally abstained from alcohol (save the occasional beer here and there), he typically eats what he wants, and never kept too close an eye on his weight.
Living a Long Life: Advice a 109-Year-Old Gives For Longevity
Fast forward many decades and milk still plays a role in his life– the elder inspiration claims drinking Ovaltine every day after breakfast is part of his longevity.
Ovaltine is a milk flavoring that can be mixed into the beverage to add vitamins and nutrients. He’s been so outspoken about the supplement that when he turned 100, everyone drank Ovaltine at his birthday party.
He also stayed active his whole life, though he laughs at people who jog casually. “He’s like, ‘Where are they running to?’”
Perhaps the biggest tip from Dransfield, however, is to always stay positive.
He considers himself an optimistic person and is known around town to many for his sunny disposition. He likes to know everyone’s name and be a part of the local community.
“I keep positive. I never think any other way when something’s wrong,” Dransfield says.
The patriarch of an expanding family, Dransfield is a beacon of hope for his grandchildren.
“It’s a lot of fun,” his great-grandson Matthew Lista said. “Every single time he tells jokes, he tells stories. Just like stuff that you wouldn’t think he would remember, he’s remembering back to when he was 30 and stuff like that. It’s crazy to think he could remember all these stories and they’re awesome.”
Hopefully, we can all retain as much liveliness and spirit as Vincent Dransfield as we age. Regardless, he is a reminder of the power of the human spirit, and to never be held back by age. Vincent Dransfield’s remarkable life is a testament to the power of positive thinking and staying active, as much as it is the importance of a supportive community.
In a world that often values youth above all else, Dransfield’s story serves as a powerful reminder that age should never hold us back from living our best lives.
His positive attitude, commitment to his community, and love of life are qualities that we can all aspire to, regardless of our age.