Montana Treasure: 102-year-old shares his life journey

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - In a century of life, Bill Spahr has seen it all.

Bill Spahr was born in Pennsylvania just after World War I. He caught a serious lung disease while serving in World War 2, and ended up in Montana at the VA hospital in Fort Harrison.

"They didn't think they were going to keep me alive very long,” said Spahr.

But he overcame the illness. After spending some time at the VA Hospital in Fort Harrison and then earning a degree from the University of Montana Western, Bill moved to Great Falls.

"I served four years in the House of Representatives. I'm familiar with all this stuff that there going through down there right now. In fact, I fought a lot of battles down there like they're fighting right now,” said Spahr.

His legacy continued as a teacher. Bill spent 23 years in the classroom at Great Falls High and was credited with helping thriving journalists take the next step.

A lot of kids worked in the program and went on to work in television. One of his students interviewed future president Lyndon B Johnson in 1960 at the Great Falls Civic Center.

Spahr says the most exciting legacy was seeing his students succeed in life after the classroom.

"Some of the people that I've had as students have gone to become doctors and lawyers,” said Spahr.

Now at 102 years old, things have slowed down significantly for this man, who's still young at heart.

"The greatest thing I miss at my age is mobility. I can't drive a car anymore. I don't have a car to drive. I can't go anywhere without oxygen,” said Spahr.

What you can't miss about Bill, his great sense of humor.

"I don't anticipate living to be 115 or 120 years old. "I think the oldest living person was 117, but I don't think that would be any fun, especially if you didn't have any teeth,” said Spahr.

Bill Spahr 102 going on 62, and this week’s Montana Treasure.

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