Elbert McCune has two tips for living a long life: Be active as much as possible and stay away from electronic devices.
Those around McCune should be wise to listen — the retired Navy captain just celebrated his 100th birthday.
The energetic centenarian, who says he stays healthy with the help of his doctors at Sharp Senior Health Center in Clairemont, enjoys woodwork, serving as an usher at his church, gardening and studying gems. Including McCune, the Senior Health Center is currently caring for five centenarian patients.
"Mr. McCune is a very easy patient to care for," says Dr. Brian First, McCune's doctor for the past 15 years and medical director of Sharp Senior Health Centers. "He has never been hospitalized under my care, which is a testament to his good health."
McCune grew up in Missouri and lived through the Great Depression and World War II. He moved to San Diego in 1948 after joining the Navy.
He says the highlight of his Navy career was escorting President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a conference. He married his late wife, Edna, in 1956 and eventually settled in Serra Mesa.
McCune believes remaining active is the key to living a long and healthy life. "I try to stay on my feet at least 80 percent of my day," says McCune, whose only communication device is a home phone that he keeps in case of an emergency.
Genetics may also play a role in his longevity. McCune's mother and a majority of relatives on her side of the family lived for more than 90 years.
Dr. First says McCune is quite healthy. He only schedules visits with McCune a few times a year to make sure he has no health concerns.
McCune says he hopes to continue spending time with friends, taking care of his home and discovering new activities to keep him busy and enjoying life.
Learn more about Sharp Senior Health Centers, located in downtown San Diego and Clairemont.