Ralph Waldo McBurney

Ralph Waldo McBurney (born Oct 3, 1902), usually known as Waldo, is said to be the oldest worker in the United States of America. At age 104, he still lives and works as a beekeeper in the city of Quinter, Kansas. Although he was born in Quinter and has lived in the Quinter area for many years, he has also lived in the areas of Sterling and Beloit, Kansas.


He was the third of six children born to George R. and Mary B. (Huston) McBurney. After two years at Sterling College, he transferred to the Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University), from which he graduated in 1927. Two years later, he married the former Irene Spear; together, they had three children. After her death in 1960, he married the former Vernice Forman in 1962, who is still living. He suffered a heart attack in 1994, but continued competing afterward.

He holds multiple world records for track and field events for his age level. In 2004, he published an autobiography entitled My First Hundred Years. He credits his success partially to his age; as he says in his autobiography, "It is easy to earn gold medals when one has no competition in one's age group!"

Although not a minister himself, both his father and his son Kenneth have been ministers in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, in which he is an elder.

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