103-Year-Old Woman Becomes Oldest-Ever Grand Canyon Ranger

It's her official responsibility to spread the word about the park’s beauty.

park ranger
The Grand Canyon has a new junior ranger to take care of it. (George Rose/Getty Images)
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The Grand Canyon may have celebrated its 100th anniversary as a national park this year, but it has nothing on 103-year-old junior ranger Rose Torphy.

The oldest-ever to hold her title, Torphy is also the matriarch of a family with five living generations, loves bowling, traveling and watching poker, according to The Guardian.

Perhaps one of the secrets to Torphy’s long, full life is her daily glass of wine, raised in a toast to her late husband of more than six decades, Ralph: “Here’s to you: no one better, no one damn near as good,” she recites.

“It was a special occasion,” Torphy said of her recent swearing-in ceremony as a park ranger. “I enjoyed every minute of it.”

She said she visited the Grand Canyon with her husband in 1985 and fell in love with it.

“We thought it was the most marvelous thing,” Torphy said. “We always talked about it to the kids. I always told them it was something they have to go to see.”

But she didn’t make it back until she her daughter, Cheri Stoneburner, went last month. There, Torphy recreated a photograph she’d taken with her husband more than 30 years ago, sitting in a chair President Theodore Roosevelt had sat in.

As an official member of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s team, Torphy is tasked with spreading the word about the park’s beauty and virtues, The Guardian reported.

“Everywhere she goes, she wears [her park ranger badge] on her coat,” Stoneburner said. “She tells everybody all about it.”

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