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National Park Service's oldest active ranger retires at age 100

Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest active ranger with the U.S. National Park Service, retired at the age of 100. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service
Betty Reid Soskin, the oldest active ranger with the U.S. National Park Service, retired at the age of 100. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

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April 1 (UPI) -- The National Park Service announced the organization's oldest active ranger has retired at age 100 in California.

The NPS said Betty Reid Soskin, who has served as a ranger at Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond for more than a decade and a half, officially retired at the close of her last day on the job Thursday.

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"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," Soskin said in an NPS news release.

Soskin, marked her 100th birthday in September 2021, took a temporary position working with the NPS at age 84 and became a permanent employee in 2011, making her the oldest active National Parks ranger in the United States.

Soskin's work at the park included hosting interpretive programs to highlight the histories of Black Americans and other people of color.

"The National Park Service is grateful to Ranger Betty for sharing her thoughts and first-person accounts in ways that span across generations," said Naomi Torres, acting superintendent of Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. "She has used stories of her life on the Home Front, drawing meaning from those experiences in ways that make that history truly impactful for those of us living today."

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The park will host a retirement party for Soskin on Saturday.

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