California’s oldest ranger retired at 100 years old.


He started working there at age 85 and says it has been a wonderful experience sharing his story with visitors.

It is never too late to do what you want, what you like, and what you are genuinely passionate about. It is never too late to experience the beautiful things in life and feels that you work without working because what you do is what you are passionate about.

Well, this is the case of Betty Reid Soskin. All she wanted was to be a ranger, and she made it until she was 85 years old, and despite her advancing age, she stayed in uniform for over a decade.

It turns out that Betty is about to turn 100 years old, which is why after 15 years of service, she finally decided to retire from the National Park Service (NPS) to rest at home.

For the group of rangers, it was a pride to be part of the corps in California in the United States, specifically on the National Front of World War II. In the same way, she, as a woman of color, was able to tell her story, and it is that although she is not a historian, she has lived a lot, and transmitting her knowledge and experiences filled her with gratification.

“It’s been amazing 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 because of the footprints we’ve left behind. Being a primary source for sharing that story, my story, and shaping a new national park has been exciting and rewarding.”

–Betty Reid Soskin to People –

It should be noted that when he began his career as a Ranger officer at age 85, it was hard to believe how good he looked. His job was primarily to lead visitors on tours of the Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California.

She decided to work there while she was working as a consultant to the NPS on the park’s formation, where she shared her experience working in a segregated room as a file clerk. It was hard for many of her classmates to believe that despite her excellent performances, she was treated differently solely because of her color.

“Although I am not a trained historian, my tours are necessarily a way of sharing my oral history with the public,” Soskin told Today in 2015.

This is what many have loved, which tells a perspective of the story that many try to forget or ignore by choice. Maybe it’s out of embarrassment, but it’s important to remember, so it doesn’t happen again.

Betty Reid Soskin oldest park active ranger Credit: National Parks SErvice

For this reason, NPS said goodbye to this vital worker with all the honors and thanked her for telling the story in the best way: First-hand.

We hope you can enjoy your retirement, and those who listened to you during your years of service do not let your memory die but pass it on to anyone in the park.

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