“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” the great Confucius once said. I truly believe that loving what you do makes life way easier and more enjoyable.

Betty Reid Soskin is one of those people who never get tired of their job. If you wonder why, you may find it incredible that she is the oldest park ranger in America who retired last September upon turning 100 years old. Yes, you’ve heard that right.

During the last 15 years or so, Betty has been sharing her life stories, including those from World War II, at Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park in Richmond.

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Speaking of her passion for the job, many of her coworkers agree that Betty has had a huge influence for the park to be what it is today.

A public celebration honoring Betty’s retirement and her milestone birthday will be held on April 16, 2022.

“To be a part of helping to mark the place where that dramatic trajectory of my own life, combined with others of my generation, will influence the future by the footprints we’ve left behind has been incredible,” Betty wrote in a statement.

During her young years, Betty worked as a file clerk in a segregated Union hall. Later, she and her husband ran a record store, Reid’s Records, which closed in 2019.

After working at the park for some time, Betty got permanently hired as part of the National Park Service at the age of 89. She led public programs.

“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,” this incredible woman said. “It has proven to bring meaning to my final years.”

Chuck Sams, the National Park Service Director, 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.”

Betty, who has also been a social activist her entire life, will be honored in a beautiful way, with a school named after her. Lovely gift, indeed.

Happy retirement and happy birthday, Betty.

MEDIA