Happy birthday! He may be the oldest man in New Jersey
🎂 A man thought to be oldest living New Jerseyan has a birthday later this month
🎂 You may be surprised as to what he credits his longevity
🎂 He has been a part of the same fire company in Little Falls for 82 years
LITTLE FALLS — Lifelong New Jersey resident Vincent Dransfield will celebrate another birthday on March 28.
He was born in Paterson, and currently lives in a two-story house in Little Falls that was built in the 1940s and Dransfield is the original owner.
Dransfield is believed to be the oldest, living New Jerseyan to date.
He turns 109 this month.
Lucia DeClerck of South Jersey recently celebrated her 107th birthday and the oldest resident, Edith Hodes Rose died in 2022 at 111 years old.
What is so amazing about Vincent Dransfield?
According to his granddaughter, Erica Lista, Dransfield’s current health and memory are spectacular. He does his own laundry and needs no assistance or help with daily living skills.
He leased a car all by himself two years ago and drives to the store every single day to get coffee and the newspaper. He shops once a week at the local Shop Rite, and everyone in town knows Vince.
Even more impressive is his physical health. Lista said he does not have one existing medical condition besides arthritis in his knees which is managed by over-the-counter medication. His doctors are amazed at his physical health.
“His memory is so sharp that he just told his great-grandson, who is preparing to get his driver’s license, that he remembers there were only seven questions on his driver’s test in 1930 and he drove himself to it,” Lista said.
Dransfield said he credits his longevity and good health to drinking Ovaltine every day, something he has been doing ever since he was a little boy. He said he doesn’t know if this works for anyone else, but it’s been working for him all these years.
What about Dransfield’s career?
Dransfield joined the Singac Fire Company #3 on Main Street in Little Falls in the 1940s and has spent the last 82 years providing his service to this group of fine men and women.
“Throughout the years, you meet a lot of people. But this is not a clubhouse. You are a family,” Dransfield said.
He’s always been considered the top man, the one who everyone from veterans to new members, look up to, he said.
Dransfield is so loved in Little Falls that there is a tree that was planted in a park in town that is named after him.
Also, the street that he lives on, Woodside Avenue, has been renamed Chief Vincent Dransfield Way, in his honor, and an entire wall in the firehouse has been dedicated to him, as well.
According to the family, Dransfield is said to currently be the longest and oldest living volunteer fireman in the country.
“I feel more honored than the President of the United States,” Dransfield said when asked how he feels about these incredible dedications to him and his decades of service.
He encourages anyone who is thinking about a career as a firefighter to join the academy, learn and understand what firefighters do, then become a part of a community that helps each other out.
What will Dransfield be doing to celebrate his birthday?
A humbled Dransfield said he has no idea what the family has planned for his upcoming 109th birthday, so whatever it is, he will be surprised. But he’ll love it, as long as his family is there.
What does he like and dislike about New Jersey?
Dransfield had two very simple answers. He loves living in New Jersey simply because he was born here, met his wife, and got married.
Just like every other New Jerseyan, even at almost 109, there is something that bothers Dransfield about the Garden State.
“Yeah. The taxes.”
Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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