Betty Reid Soskin, the National Park Service’s oldest active ranger, has resigned after more than 15 years of sharing her life tales, including those from World War II, at Richmond’s Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park.
Soskin made news in September when she turned 100, becoming by far the oldest park ranger in duty. On April 16, there will be a public gathering to celebrate her retirement.
According to reports, the centenarian’s work as a park ranger has assisted the park service in improving how it teaches tourists about history.
“It has been great to be a part of helping to mark the location where the dramatic route of my life and the lives of others of my generation will effect the future through the footprints we’ve left behind,” Soskin said in a statement announcing her retirement.
When she was a young lady during World War II, the 100-year-old woman worked as a file clerk in a segregated Union hall. Later in life, she and her husband, Mel Reid, launched Reid’s Records. The shop permanently closed in 2019.
Soskin, 89, began working full-time for the National Park Service in 2011. At the park’s visitor center, she gave public events and talked about memories and ideas.
“It’s been thrilling and fulfilling to be the principal source for communicating that history—my history—and shaping a new national park,” Soskin added.
“It has given meaning to my latter years.”
“Betty has had a big influence on the National Park Service and how we perform our work,” said Chuck Sams, director of the National Park Service.
“Her work reminds us that if we wish to present a more full history of our country, we must seek out and accommodate various points of view.”
Betty, thank you for your service, and we wish you a happy retirement!
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