Thursday, July 9, 2009

Waldo McBurney

Psalm 147:10-11 from the 1973 Book of Psalms For Singing:

In the strength of horse or speed of man
The Lord takes no delight;
But those that fear and trust His love
Are pleasing in His sight.

Born on a Kansas farm on October 3, 1902, R. Waldo McBurney grew up to become a a ruling elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), and a beekeeper, as well as an award-winning runner (including world and U.S. records for track and field events). As a runner, like Eric Liddell who was also born in 1902, Waldo has always declined to race on the Lord's Day. He is the son of a minister in the RPCNA, George McBurney, who was the denomination's oldest upon his death (at the age of 88), and the father of another RPCNA minister, Ken McBurney of Grace Presbyterian Church in State College, PA. He is a paragon of healthy living, and continues to run, although he has some bumps along the way, including appendicitis at age 58, colon cancer at 87 and a heart attack at 94 (he finally got a birth certificate issued for the first time at 96). He was married to his first wife for 30 years, and has been married to his second wife for 40+ years. As of this writing, he is 106 years old and does not plan to retire, which officially makes him "America's Oldest Worker," a title he received in 2006. He is also an author, having published his autobiography in 2004: My First 100 Years: A Look Back From the Finish Line (in 2008 this became available on audio CD). He has received many accolades in life; the Psalm quoted above comes from this book and he says it "helps my humility and discourages my pride." His book is full of wisdom from a life well-lived. He writes "My wish is that readers will be encouraged by my story, which most likely will be my last one."


  1. Interesting that you post this today: he died yesterday evening.

  2. My Uncle Waldo is way more valuable than anyone could ever put on paper, he was a great man who lived every waking moment for Jesus Christ. We will all miss him very much, but trust that we will be with him soon. Please watch the video of Waldo on Assignment America, it is posted on, and allow him to touch your life, just as he has touched mine.

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Aspen. We offer our sincere condolences to you and your family. I encourage others to find the video of Waldo on YouTube as well. It is worth watching. May the Lord bless you.