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A Miami Valley centenarian’s advice on a long, healthy life

BROOKVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — As you head into the new year, you might be thinking about ways you can improve your health. Who better to ask about a long and healthy life, than one of the Miami Valley’s newest centenarians?

Ed Hemmelgarn is a World War II veteran, who turned 100 years old on Dec. 14. When you ask Ed how it’s been celebrating 100 years of life, he gives a very humble answer:

“Well, I guess it’s alright,” Ed told our 2 NEWS moments after his birthday party. “I mean, I’m just here.”

Ed lives in Brookville now, but he was born in Burkettsville in Mercer County.

“I’m nothing special,” Ed said. “I was born on a farm, was raised on a farm. I worked all my life in the trades. I served an apprenticeship as a tool and die maker. For years I worked at it and I made a living for my family. I was married. I had nine children. And I was able to take care of them and support them. I feel I am very lucky to be able to do that.”

We asked Ed what the secrets are for a long and happy life. He says a good family and exercise.

“I believe in taking care of yourself and exercising,” Ed said. “And walking and exercising. To me, that’s very important. Without your decent health, there isn’t much you can do.”

But Ed’s most important life lesson is how you treat people.

“Most people are pretty decent to be with,” Ed said. “It’s nice to be with people. And if you treat people decent, most people in the world are not bad. I’ve never had trouble myself with getting along with people.”

We asked Ed if there was one thing that helped him reach his 100th birthday. He said he was just lucky to be alive, but taking care of your health doesn’t hurt either.