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Shining Star: Frank Rihaly

“They're shocked when they find out how old he is! They're like oh my goodness, and he's still walking!? Yes, still walking.”

We first met Frank Rihaly last winter. At the time, he was 102-years old and doing laps at the Fort Steuben Mall every day.

Frank celebrated his 103rd birthday Tuesday. He’s living a fulfilling life and he’s loved.

Frank frequents a number of restaurants in Steubenville each week, but not before lacing up his sneakers and taking a stroll at the Fort Steuben Mall.

"I walked most of my life," he said.

"He walks around one time,” said. Kenneth Mazik, walker. "He might sit down and stop and rest, but he makes one trip around, God bless him.”

He's inspiring the dozens of other mall walkers who stroll by his side, including his son-in-law Jim and daughter Peggy.

“He brings a lot of laughter," Peggy said. "Sometimes I feel like oh wow, I can hardly go, then look at him and say he's still going strong. I guess it's in my genes, I can do well too.”

During his outings, he's become somewhat of a celebrity.

“Everybody calls him Pap," Peggy said. "Pap likes that, he says oh, they notice me, they know my name, they come up and shake my hand and he's like all excited about that.”

So what's the secret?

“He always said soup, that's what keeps you strong and healthy," Peggy said.

Soup and sweets.

“He eats donuts every morning for breakfast,” said Peggy.

Frank loves to share stories of Gladdis, his wife of 73 years.

“I asked her will you marry me, and she jumped into my lap, and I said boy what are you doing? Yeah, she jumped in my lap, she did!" Frank said.

The grandfather to many and father of five loves to fish and jigsaw puzzles bring him joy.

“He used to put them together and then build a frame to put around it and shellacked it and everything,” said Peggy.

For years in the Wheeling-Pitt mill, he was a crane man, then a machinist. One of 9 children himself, Frank learned to be self-sufficient at a young age.

“I try to get him to use a cane, he says oh, I don't need that. It's for old people,” Peggy said.

A sense of humor, but also a spiritual man.

“I'm not a preacher, because I don't want to be a preacher. I want to be a teacher,” said Frank.

This week’s Shining Star is teaching everyone he encounters that life at any age is a treat.

He says he was turned down from being in the army at an early age for a bad heart, but he's never had any health issues.


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