Posted: Apr 14, 2011 5:52 PM by KRTV
Updated: Apr 14, 2011 7:20 PM
Walter Breuning, the world's oldest living man and the most famous resident of Great falls, passed away on Thursday.
Breuning, 114, was hospitalized at Benefis on March 31 with an undisclosed illness.
He passed away on Thursday at 3:30 pm.
Walter had lived in Great Falls since 1918 and called the Rainbow Senior Living facility home since 1979.
Walter had been recognized as the world's oldest man since 2009.
Breuning was born on September 21, 1896, in Melrose, Minnesota, and came to Great Falls in 1918, with the expansion of the railroad. He worked for the railroad for over 50 years.
U.S. Senator Max Baucus, who honored Breuning on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Walter's 114th birthday, said, "I was honored to know Walter. He was a real Montanan: thrifty, healthy, hard-working, and he had true Montana grit. He had a great sense of humor and he always stayed young at heart. Walter will be missed by Montanans and people around the world. Walter's memory will remind us to always live each day to the fullest."
(September 21, 2010) A birthday party for the ages on Tuesday afternoon in Great Falls, as Walter Breuning celebrated his 114th birthday.
Among his accomplishments are being the oldest living man in the world and the fourth-oldest person on the earth.
Governor Brian Schweitzer, a fact-checker for the Guinness Book of World Records, and fellow Masons were among the honored guests who helped Walter celebrate another milestone.
Breuning made a speech to the assembled guests, and among his pearls of wisdom: "Teach me still to be thankful for life...if you can remember me only with tears, then don't remember me at all...to get the most out of life, we should enjoy what we have accomplished."
Walter was born in Melrose, Minnesota in 1896, and took a job with the Great Northern Railway in 1913, moving to Great Falls five years later.
He was active in the Masons until the age of 99 and was a manager at the Rainbow Senior Living Facility - which he still calls home - until well past the age of 90.
Breuning is officially listed in the 2011 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest living man; he inherited the title after the passing of Henry Allingham of England in July 2009.
Walter is only the sixth man ever documented to reach the age of 114; about 70 women have reached the milestone.
He's among the top 100 oldest people of all time, coming in at number 78.
And Robert Young, an expert on gerontology and a fact-checking consultant for the Guinness Book of Word Records, says Walter is in elite company when it comes to living a long life.
Young noted, "He's a man. Nine out of ten people that are aged 110 are females, and by age 112 it's 92% female. By age 115, 95% (are) female. So for him to be getting up there in the 114 range is getting to a range where very few males have ever reached that age."
(Mid-Day, September 21, 2010) Walter Breuning of Great Falls is celebrating his 114th birthday, and the whole world is celebrating.
A birthday party for the world's oldest living man got underway on Tuesday afternoon at the Rainbow Senior Living Center in downtown Great Falls.
Among the attendees are Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and representatives from the Guinness Book of World Records.
Breuning was born in 1896, the same year that Utah became a state. He has been honored throughout the years for his civic involvement and profiled on many TV shows and magazines, including CBS News last year when he celebrated his 113th birthday.
Walter inherited the title of Oldest Living Man after the passing of Henry Allingham in England in July 2009.
Breuning is the oldest undisputed American-born man ever, and is currently the 7th oldest man ever. He is one of only five men in history to undisputedly reach 114 years or more of age.