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Healthy 95-year-old provides exercise incentive

Updated: November 5, 2012 11:26AM



I doubt if there was a YMCA in our area way back in 1917, but there is someone born on April 18, 1917, who is a member of the Valparaiso Y.

What are you going to be doing when you are 95? If you follow in the footsteps of Sigmund Mentzel (who joked that Sigmund Freud was named after him) you will amaze everyone with your will and determination to continue movin’ and groovin’.

Sig is such a sharp guy with a great sense of humor, it was so enjoyable talking to him. He was on an exercise bike while I sat comfortably, and he wasn’t even breathing hard.

His age is just a number, as he still lives independently, and attributes his long healthy life to good eating, exercise, and good food, noting that his beloved wife, Marge, was a great cook.

Eight years ago, when “the best thing that ever happened to me” died, Sig made the decision that life is too short to sit around and mope. He and his family moved to Valpo from Chicago in 1965, and he loves it for all the good things our area has to offer to a young 95-year-old.

He said that keeping busy and exercising at the Y has helped him also meet new friends, one of whom is my husband, Barney, who first told me about this awesome guy whose humor and stories of “back then” are great.

One to share with you is, as
an engineer at the steel mills during World War II, he and Marge were planning to marry. Since food was rationed, for their wedding reception friends and relatives contributed ration coupons so they could have their cake and eat it, too!

Sig can no longer drive, and has a therapist who transports him and keeps him and his home in good shape.

Angie, who was with him at the Y, said, “He is such a wonderful man, and being with him is a happy place for me to be, and I love his history lessons.”

So, if you keep using excuses or putting off exercising or joining a Y class, think about Sig who believes “God is good, and there are great people here to keep me happy.”

Boy, Sig, after chatting with you, it made me want to spend more time listening to your “history” and try to keep up with your exercise regime.

Thanks for the incentive you provide to many others who marvel at your stamina. You are my pet person of the week.

I hope you have a great day because you deserve it.

Thanks for reading. Fly your flag.



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