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Nearing 100 years of history in Winchester

100 year old man birthday.jpg
Posted at 6:40 AM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 07:21:19-05

WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — Remember as a kid how you'd start counting down the days until your birthday? A 99-year-old man in Winchester says he still enjoys the week before he hits a new milestone.

Through the decades, Joseph Rupsis has seen things many of us may never see in our lifetime.

"Back then, they were rushing to get all the people in the service who they could because the war hadn't been going for very long," said Rupsis, referring to the beginning of World War II.

"So I'm 99? So what? A lot of other people are 99 also."

Fast forward to today. As he reminded me, age is just a number.

"I'm not 100, am I?" said Rupsis. "Right. Don't make me an old man. I'm just a kid."

That kid at heart, who dons part of his resume loud and proud.

"Scared me a few times, but that's part of life." He continues, "When the war broke out, I wanted to join then. But my mother was against it. I was curious, you know? I was hot to trot."

That curiosity is what helped forge his path.

"You come to realize how dumb you really are. You learn a lot in the service. You learn things you never dreamed of, you know?"

The age difference between the two of us is about 70 years. With one of us approaching the milestone of 100 next week, I thought the other could use a few pointers.

When asked about the keys to a long healthy life, Rupsis responds, "Your attitude. The way you accept things. Don't take life too serious. Take it as it comes. I liked to make people laugh or always did when I was growing up."

"That would be Joe," said Donnie Rose, who knows well of Rupsis' past after interviewing him nearly 17 years ago.

This week, Rose has been re-watching this interview he conducted, as he prepares to be part of Rupsis' 100th birthday celebration next week.

He knows the value of preserving history by hearing it from those who are still here to tell it.

"There is no way on earth the history books are ever going to tell the true story of war," said Rose.

It's not a book, but this type of history stays secure behind this door. And next week, will mark, a new chapter in a 100-year story.

The staff at Boonesboro Trail Senior Living hope for Rupsis to get 100 birthday cards for his 100th birthday.

If you want to wish Rupsis a happy birthday, mail a card to:

Joseph Rupsis
Boonesboro Trail Senior Living
2101 Old Boonesboro Rd.
Winchester, KY 40391