Skip to content


Older Americans Month

May 2016 is Older Americans Month in Alaska – a time to celebrate the past and continuing achievements of older Alaskans as their contributions to the State, communities, and families are deeply rooted and ongoing. The theme for the 2016 Older Americans Month is “Blaze a Trail” that emphasizes the ways in which older adults are reinventing themselves by pursuing new work and new passions, engaging their communities, and blazing a trail of positive impact on the lives of people of all ages.

In Alaska, Governor Bill Walker has proclaimed May 2016 as Older Americans Month to honor the foundational contributions of Alaska’s pioneers who helped build our great state, seniors who defended our freedoms as members of the U.S. Armed Forces, in addition to calling attention to the growing number of Alaskan Centenarians who celebrated their 100 year birthday, or more, this year.

As part of Older Americans Month, the Governor’s Office with the Alaska Commission on Aging, are recognizing Alaskans who are 100 years and older as distinguished Alaskan Centenarians.  Their names are being read aloud as part of Older Alaskans Month celebration activities. Each Centenarian will receive a personalized commendation and a certified Older Americans Month in Alaska Executive Proclamation from the Governor’s Office to recognize their achievement of this notable milestone.

The Alaska Centenarian Project

How does one live to be 100 years old and beyond? While the growing number of Centenarians is a testament to the benefits of living a healthy and socially active lifestyle in addition to advances in medical technology and the quality of long-term support services, having a positive attitude is also a keystone factor, according to personal statements from Alaskan Centenarians. Remaining optimistic, living with purpose, being able to enjoy a good laugh, and maintaining social relationships are the building blocks for living a long, happy life.

100heart.jpg

 

In the United States, there are 53,364 American Centenarians (U.S. 2010 Census). The majority of them are women living in urban areas with higher concentrations found in the Northeast and Midwest.  According to data from the Alaska Division of Permanent Fund Dividend (2016), there are at least 83 Alaskans who are 100 years and older, up from a count of 62 in 2010. Fern Elam, resident of Kenai, is the oldest living Alaskan at 105. The following 23 Alaskan Centenarians have provided their consent to honor them publicly during Older Americans Month in Alaska:

  • Katherine Ferguson
    Anchorage
  • Blanka R. Hirschler
    Anchorage
  • Felipe L S
    Anchorage
  • Ina Twitchell
    Anchorage
  • John C Hughes
    Anchorage
  • Julia Richardson
    Anchorage
  • Marlow Thomas
    Anchorage
  • Mattie Osterback
    Anchorage
  • Rita Foy
    Anchorage
  • Ruby Lemke
    Anchorage
  • William E Brooks
    Anchorage
  • Larry M Barksdale
    Chugiak
  • Louise A. Thompson
    Fairbanks
  • Willy Lou Warbelow-Young
    Fairbanks
  • Alma E Trucano
    Juneau
  • Lorraine Dougan
    Juneau
  • Sylvia Genner
    Juneau
  • Lorraine Osbourn
    Juneau
  • Fern Elam
    Kenai
  • Gladys Briske
    Palmer
  • Lela (Ahyakee) Oman
    Palmer
  • Sophronia Rogers
    Soldotna
  • Joseph T Rayfield
    Willow