“Grandma Whitney”: Healthy Aging Practices from a Centenarian Extraordinaire

By William C. Andress.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In 1987, at the age of 91, Mrs. Hulda Crooks, aka “Grandma Whitney,” became the oldest woman and oldest American to climb 12,388 foot Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest mountain. Six weeks later she broke her own record as the oldest person to climb Mt. Whitney, the highest peak within the continental United States. Twenty-six years later these records still stand. This article calls attention to this exemplar extraordinaire of wellness, who demonstrated that a healthy lifestyle can reverse the ravages of the past and enable one to live an active life well into the eighties and nineties. Mrs. Crooks’ tenacity in overcoming the challenges of teenage obesity, a dysfunctional childhood home, chronic sickness in early adulthood, widowhood in her early fifties, and the tragic death of her only child from a drug overdose; provides hope to thousands who also struggle with a less than ideal background. Though she passed to her rest in November 1997 at the age of 101, it is the author’s intent to keep alive the memory of this remarkable woman by documenting how she modeled the lifestyle tenets in her short expose′ “A Prescription for Health,” a philosophy that is validated by the latest scientific research.

Keywords: Active Aging, Grandma Whitney, Maintaining Health, A Prescription for Health

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.25-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 732.560KB).

Dr. William C. Andress

Associate Professor, Health and Exercise Science Department, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA, USA

Dr. William C. Andress is a preventive care specialist with 10 years of experience teaching in higher education, including two and half years in the Philippines. Prior to that, he spent six years as Director of Health Promotion and Wellness at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital. He is the author of two books: Grandma Whitney: Queen of the Mountain; and Adventist Heritage of Health, Hope, and Healing, a history of Seventh-day Adventists from the perspective of their contributions to living a healthy lifestyle.