Olive Myhre – A Modern Inspiration at 108 Years Old


 centenarian, 108 years old, happy birthday

Olive Myhre and Ron Bettin, Fitneff President (2019)


For loyal customers and followers of Fitneff, you will know that we often profile an amazing centenarian, Olive Myhre, who is turning 108 years old on April 2nd.   With the COVID-19 pandemic the world is facing, it seems more important than ever to have the perspective of someone who has lived through many “world-changing” events.  There are lessons to be learned from Olive Myhre, who is as positive and optimistic today, as she always has been.  


Olive’s Lesson #1 – Faith, family, and friends are the most important things in life


If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught everyone is that your material wealth and possession can disappear overnight.  Olive spent most of her life in church ministry at little towns across Canada with her husband Cyrus; this was not a high-paying career!  When you talk to Olive, though, she never reminisces about how poor she was; instead, Olive will tell you how rich she was with family and friends.  Olive lived by the bible verse “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Olive is an example of someone who has had a prosperous life due to the investment she made in people and community, not money; a wise philosophy!


good ol days, black and white photo

Donna, Wayne, Olive & Cyrus Myhre in Ruthilda, SK (Circa 1946)


This year COVID-19 has prevented Olive’s family and friends from celebrating in person with her, so her great-grand-daughter started a Happy 108th Olive Facebook Page.  When you see the videos from family, friends, and strangers from all over the world you realize that Olive’s love for people has genuinely paid off.  Perhaps you might even want to leave a message for Olive yourself.


Olive’s Lesson #2 – Eat healthy and keep moving


A century ago, people were not as obsessed about eating healthy, but Olive seemed to be a leader before her time. Olive’s food philosophy is, “I don’t eat a lot of meat, usually just a taste. I eat soup with every meal, which is filled with nutrients and vegetables. I take Vitamin C and D.” In her 20’s, Olive started taking a spoonful of Cod Liver oil every day.  Science has now shown that the omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and D are exceptionally good for you. Olive was a trendsetter!

assisted bowling, bowling, elder bowling

Olive Myhre bowling in Toronto (2020)


One of Olive’s favorite sayings is, “Keep moving, or you’ll stop!”   Long before walking 10,000 steps a day became a daily fitness goal on everyone’s agenda, Olive was effortlessly clocking in those kilometers without realizing it.  As a small child growing up on a farm outside Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, she would walk to town and to her school.  Olive did not drive, so throughout her life, she would walk everywhere and continues to do this now.  Even at 108, she is active every day, although now with the aid of a walker.


Lesson #3 - Get up every day with purpose


This may be the most important lesson today.  With so many people’s lives being devastated by sickness, the economy, and losing their jobs it would be so easy to give up and feel you have no purpose.  Olive Myhre has lived through the Spanish Flu, The Great Depression, World War I and II, not to mention personal tragedy when her husband passed away and daughter died in the prime of her life.  Through all this, Olive Myhre gets up every day with purpose.  In her words, “every day I get up with a purpose. I get out of bed, I get dressed. I make plans. There is no sitting around. I like to stay active”.

uno, mentally active, card games

Olive Myhre playing games in Toronto (2018)


Interesting Facts about 1912, the year Olive Myhre was born:

  • The Titanic sinks on its first voyage, and more than 1,500 passengers were killed.
  • Girl Scouts of America Founded
  • Fenway Park opened with a game between the Boston Red Sox and NY Yankees
  • Lysol disinfectant began manufacturing in the U.S.
  • Nabisco National Biscuit Company developed the Oreo cookie.
  • Thomas Edison produced the first talking motion picture
  • The molding of plastic parts began by General Electric
  • Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to the United States as a gift, and they were planted in Washington, DC
  • The Robert F. Scott exploration team became the second group to reach the South Pole (none survived to return).
  • US Life Expectancy in 1912: Males: 51.5 years, Females: 55.9 years
  • The average income was $1,033
  • A loaf of bread was 5 cents
  • A medium-priced home was $2,750


Olive Myhre is an inspiration for everyone.  She has shown the world that you do not have to influential, famous, or wealthy to have an amazing life.  To live a meaningful life, you need to make faith, family, and friends the most important things in your life, keep moving, and get up every day with purpose. 


We thank Olive Myhre for sharing her wisdom with us. We wish Olive a fantastic birthday to be surrounded by love. Olive resides in a nursing home, which has been on lock down for several weeks due to Covid-19, thus she won't be celebrating her birthday with friends and family from outside her home. Please take some time out of your day to write her a well-wishing on her page.


For more reading on Olive Myhre, check out:

A Centenarian's Advice on Health and Happiness

National Grandparent's Day: An Inspiration for Healthy Living at 106-Years-Old

Happy 108th Olive Facebook Page

April 02, 2020 — Ron Betttin

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