She Was Born In Michigan: The Oldest U.S. Park Ranger Retires
It is quite an accomplishment to reach the age of 100 in good health. Betty Reid Soskin not only has attained that accomplishment but she did it working all of her adult life.
Local Detroit news station channel 4 is reporting on this accomplishment and a very long-awaited retirement. Betty was born Betty Charbonnet in Detroit in 1921, that was before my father was born and long before I became a twinkle in my father’s eye.
Betty lived in several states but eventually ended up in California in 1946. For the last 15 years, Betty worked at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. She has decided to hang up her ranger hat and retire. What an example for so many today who do not have the drive that Betty does.
At the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Betty led tours honoring all the women who worked in the factories during WWII. She also shared her own experience as a Black woman during WWII. She must have been able to bring a wealth of experience and wisdom to those who listened to her.
In a statement from the U.S. Park Ranger service Betty said:
Being a primary source in the sharing of that history – my history – and giving shape to a new national park has been exciting and fulfilling…It has proven to bring meaning to my final years.
Her Director, Chuck Sams said:
Betty has made a profound impact on the National Park Service and the way we carry out our mission…Her efforts remind us that we must seek out and give space for all perspectives so that we can tell a more full and inclusive history of our nation.
She must have seen so much in her life including the good, the bad and the ugly. But most of all how far we have come in this nation in regards to civil rights.
Betty, I hope you enjoy your retirement.