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PURCELLVILLE, Va. (WUSA) --Today's older Americans enjoy longer lives and better physical function than did previous generations says The National Institute on Aging.

According to Mr. Charles Clark who is celebrating his 105th birthday on Thursday, a life of moderation, an occasional slice of pound cake, and a love of vegetables is the key to a long life.

Born in 1907 in Hamilton, Va., Clark sold insurance for 15 years before signing up to serve in the U.S. Army at 37 years old. Through his service Clark traveled to England, Belgium, France, and Germany working in the Quartermasters where he helped distribute supplies to troops until the War ended in 1946, and he left the Army.

Clark met his wife, Clarissa, in 1930 and fell madly in love. The two married soon after, had a son, and shared a loving life together for 56 years. Clarissa was his true love, and though she and his son have both passed, Clark remains in the same house they built a life together in for all those years. He lives independently though he has a caregiver who visits him twice a week.

An avid gardener, Clark spends a great deal of time perfecting his tomato plant and flower garden. He doesn't take life too seriously and his daughter-in-law, Della Clark, swears she has never seen him angry in 48 years.

Clark's take away message is to enjoy life, don't sweat the small stuff, and try to stay away from rush hour traffic in D.C.

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