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Centenarian ponders mystery of his longevity

Fisher turned 100 years old on Saturday


Paul Fisher, 99, poses for a portrait at Franciscan Care Center in Toledo. He celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday.

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Paul Fisher, a resident at Sylvania’s Franciscan Care Center, celebrated a special birthday Saturday when he became a centenarian. But the key to longevity and why he has managed to live to be 100 years old remains a mystery even to him.

“I don’t know. You just turn your back on time and wait for something to happen,” Mr. Fisher said, adding that a long lifespan does not run in his family.

“My parents both died young. I just lived from day to day, really.”

After retiring from work at the former Lane Drug Co. in Toledo and Sylvania as a drugstore manager about 34 years ago, Mr. Fisher has spent his time working on odd projects.

“I like to do things like repairing broken items or see why something doesn’t work,” he said.

Although Mr. Fisher has lived a long life, he isn’t quick to offer advice to others about how they should live.

“What’s good for me may not be good for other people,” he said.

Before moving into the center last year, he lived in his own home in Point Place, although he has been unable to drive for a few decades. He said he used to depend on his brother-in-law to transport him.

“I’m completely blind in one eye, and I don’t see very much in the other one,” Mr. Fisher said.

But today, even while he has trouble hearing, he still maintains a positive attitude.

When spotting a modern camera during his interview, he showed surprise and asked the photographer if he was using film. Mr. Fisher then shared that his hobby was photography and talked about the different lights and cameras he would use.

He still maintains a sense of humor. He joked about being a model citizen — saying that he has never been arrested, and that in his lifetime, he has had only “a couple tickets for driving too fast.”

Amy Dittus, Franciscan Care Center marketing director, said that the birthday party the center organized on Saturday was monumental.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s pretty remarkable.”

Activity director Iva Jean Kristek said it was an unusual occurrence for a male resident to celebrate such an important birthday.

“Men usually are not the ones who get to celebrate their 100th birthdays,” she said via email.

When asked about any hidden talents, Mr. Fisher is quick to mention he used to play the piano as a hobby, but was “not very good.”

Although the memories of the past reveal a long life of diverse interests, Mr. Fisher seems content just sitting back, relaxing, and staying happy.

When asked about the most interesting thing about himself, he replied that he didn’t know what that might be.

“I’ll think of it after you leave,” he said with a smile.


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