ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — This Saturday is Veteran’s Day, a time to honor the men and women who served in the armed forces. Dewey Ferman, a 99-year-old WWII Navy Veteran, turns 100 on March 15.
But he’s not exactly what you would expect for being nearly a century old. Ferman has lived through it all — the Great Depression, World War II, 9/11, the Vietnam War and a global pandemic.
The 99-year-old Navy veteran spends his days at Royal Park Place in Zeeland, Michigan, in the same apartment where he lived for 32 years with his wife before she died less than a year ago. Both were the first residents to move into the retirement home after it was built. They were together for 73 years.
When Ferman was just 18 years old, soon after graduating from Fulton High School just outside of Lansing, he volunteered to join the Navy, where he served for four years. He spent 40 days on Omaha Beach and fought in the Normandy Invasion.
While visiting Ferman, he showed off a similar hat to the one he wore during his time in the service. He said he is proud of his time in the Navy.
“I think being in the Navy was real good,” he said.
And if that isn’t impressive enough, at almost 100 years old, Ferman continues to stay active. He doesn’t use a walker or a cane and makes sure to always take the stairs. Just six years ago, he started lifting 40 reps of 80 lbs. every single day.
“I come in here and worked on the stuff before, but to get this particular program, 80 lbs., 40 times, that is what I settled on,” he said.
But besides staying in shape, he also makes sure to stay connected with his two sons, who both live out of state.
On Wednesday, when asked about the secret of making it almost a century, Freman said he credits a few things.
“I thank God for the health that I have,” he said. “Number two, what you just saw down there, exercising … keeping the body moving. And I also try to watch my diet. I keep it simple and healthy.”