One of America’s oldest couples just celebrated a combined 212 years, as Duranord Veillard turned 108 yesterday while his wife of 82 long years, Jeanne, reaches the ripe old age of 104 this coming May.
The couple, who live with their daughter, Marie Eveillard, in West Castle Avenue in Rockland County, have already celebrated a number of milestones together, with Duranord’s 108th birthday being just the latest.
Duranord was born the son of a fisherman on February 28, 1907 in St. Louis du Sud and was raised in Les Cayes in southern Haiti, where he studied law.
He and his wife married in November of 1932, which was the same month that Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as President of the United States.
The couple raised five children and moved to the U.S. in 1968 after Duranord found himself jobless and was awarded a visa to visit America.
At first, he made his way as a lab technician at the Good Samaritan Hospital and worked there for about 10 years.
At 108, Duranord is in pretty good condition, other than being almost totally blind and hard of hearing. His son, Vely, told reporters that his father is still pretty savvy despite his age and certainly has his wits about him.
“He remembers everything. Look at him! He don’t want to use a cane. He’s a superstar,” he said.
Even though Rockland County doesn’t have records of its oldest resident, the Veillard’s are certainly up there as one of the area’s oldest married couples. They have 12 grandchildren as well as 14 great-grandchildren.
So what is Duranord’s secret to a long and healthy life?
As he told reporters, he wakes early — like 5 a.m. early — and does some pushups before enjoying a breakfast of tea, oatmeal, and fresh fruit. For his other two meals of the day, he enjoys fish and fresh vegetables and tries to nap as often as possible during the day.