National Centenarian Awareness Project
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Founded in 1989 by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
Centenarian Expert and Older Adults Advocate

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Our December Calendar - Paul Olson, 103

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 Paul Olson, 103

Paul Olson, 103, with Bess, 100
Paul Olson, who turns 103 on December 10th
— Happy Birthday! — with Bess, 100.

Paul Olson was born and raised on a farm in Iowa and later took over running the family farm.  “I’m retired from there,” he says.
        In high school, Paul began playing the saxophone and played in the school band, plus a dance band with some friends. Later he also played sax in the town band and a few more local dance bands over the years. “I was never good enough to play professionally,” he says, modestly.

        Since moving into town and to an active retirement center, Paul has continued playing with a group of friends – most 20 years younger – in what they call the “Just For Fun Band.” 
The five piece group entertains regularly at nursing homes in the area, and, of course, play for dances and functions at their large retirement center.  So perhaps it can be

said of Paul that what he lacked in professional ability in his younger years, he has more than made up for with the longevity of his music making! 
        “People really enjoy the old tunes, the ones they grew up with, and I remember them all.” The band’s play list also includes more current favorites, he’s quick to add.
        Paul moved from the farm after losing his wife in 1997.  On his first day there, he was shown to a dining table and introduced to a few of the other residents; he was seated next to a woman by the name of Bess.  They soon discovered that they had gone to high schools in neighboring towns, and she graduated just a couple of years after he did in 1925.         
        “We struck up a conversation and have been together every day since,” Paul says – you can hear the smile in his voice. “It’s nice when you find someone who grew up in similar circumstances and around your own age. We have a lot in common.” 
        What they also have in common is they are now both centenarians!  Bess turned 100 earlier this year, and Paul will be celebrating his 103rd birthday on December 10th. 
        Happy Birthday, Paul! – and best wishes to you both. 





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1998-2012 National Centenarian Awareness Project & Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
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