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Healthy habits and staying active, key to centenarian’s longevity

Emil Vogler will turn 100 years old on Oct 12, 2021.  A vital, active man, Emil explained that he owes his longevity in part to his wife Lila, who he credits as a “5-star cook,” and healthcare by Dr. Brian Roebuck.

“Nobody believes what I’ve done, and I didn’t even know I did all that.”  Vogler recapped his accomplishments since he left the Air Force in 1949.  Having been an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force, he sought work at United Airlines.  “United didn’t pay anything, I didn’t go. I went to the Post Office.”   In 1952 he took a part-time job with Kroger while still employed as a mail carrier. He stayed with Kroger for 15 years.

In 1967, he was elected to the board of directors of the Buckeye State Credit Union.  That year, he was elected Chairman and held that post for the next 35 years.  “It went from $600,000 to $65,000,000… at the same time I managed a local branch of the Post Office.”

He has held a real estate license, was involved in the restaurant business.

“Retirement is an artificialism,” Dr. Roebuck said, emphasizing the importance of engagement in one’s vocations and interests after stepping away from the workforce.

“I don’t have patience with people who loaf,” Vogler added.

Before retirement, Vogler maintained a healthy work-life balance, taking 5 weeks a year to travel with his family, resulting in the family visiting all of the National Parks in the country. 

“Even today it irritates me — I have a bad knee, I can’t do what I would like to do, but it’s a huge mistake for older people to sit down and watch the idiot box.  I work puzzles.  I listen to the news from 8-9 (AM). After that, I watch Bloomberg with the mute on, and watch the business news, which I was involved in.”

He did not go into detail, but Vogler mentioned that he was involved in politics.  “I knew all the congressmen, all the senators, and when I look back … I don’t hesitate when I’m doing business, I always remember, I never got to this level without people behind me, helping me.”

“At this age, people give up too soon,” Vogler said.  He admits to being exhausted by the news of the day and purging “ridiculous emails,’ then he rests, and gets back up, and “starts all over again.”

Dr. Roebuck says, “The key is to adopt attitudes and activities early in life so that you maintain a level of acumen mentally and physical stamina.”  Everyone will slow down as they age, but according to Dr. Roebuck, “It doesn’t need to be a steep slope,” meaning that abrupt disability can be staved off by adopting healthy habits sooner and continuing those habits after retirement.   

Vogler is a three-time cancer survivor, largely due to his diligence in keeping in touch with his physicians and receiving regular care and screenings.  “He’s always been one step ahead,” said Dr. Roebuck, about Vogler’s remarkable recoveries.  Early detection is the key.  All of Vogler’s cancers were found in the first stage.

Dr. Roebuck commented that he became a family physician because he was trained to treat each patient as if they are a family member.  This close relationship helps foster a close continuity of care and keeps patients and families engaged in their well-being.

Dr. Roebuck estimates that he has five patients that are close to reaching 100.

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