A 101-Year-Old Lady In Maine Still Regularly Heads Out To Sea To Catch Lobsters

A person in a red coat
News Center Maine

A woman in Maine has been fishing for lobsters for almost an entire century.

Virginia Oliver started lobstering when she was just 8-years-old. At the age of 101, she’s still going. She credits lobstering with continuously sharpening her mind and her wits.

She was born in the town of Rockland way back in 1920, and she still lives on the same street she grew up on. Despite being more than a century old, she’s still more active than a lot of folks half her age.

According to News Center Maine, she still wakes up bright and early 3 days a week to hit the water with her 78-year-old son.

For her, lobstering is a family affair as well. She started with her older brother John and then continued the tradition with her husband and all four of her kids.

On the days she goes out after lobsters, she wakes up at about 4:45 AM, piles into an old Ford pickup truck, and heads down to the town of Owls Head where her late husband’s boat is still docked. That boat is aptly named “Virginia” after her.

Once aboard the boat, she starts checking her 200 lobster pots spread out across the ocean floor off the coast.

Her sea legs admittedly aren’t what they used to be, but while most old ladies her age spend their days retired and in a rocking chair, she’s still most comfortable on a boat rocking back and forth with the current of the sea.

She wouldn’t be able to do what she does without the help of her son.

He hauls in the lobster pots while Virginia bands the lobsters. Unfortunately, she broke her wrist a few years back, which means she had to switch to predominantly using her left hand these days, but life is all about making adjustments.

When she’s done banding the lobsters, she starts refilling the pots with bait, and the process starts all over again.

She attributes her work ethic to the long and healthy life she’s been able to live. Lobstering is part of her identity and part of what fuels her to keep getting out of bed every day.

“They call me the Lobster Lady.

You just have to keep going; otherwise you would be in a wheelchair or something.”

She’s not only well known in her area for lobstering but for her cooking and baking skills too.

Her cake, brownies, and doughnuts are the stuff of local legend, but she always keeps a few of the lobsters she catches for herself too. At least once a week, she cooks up a classic Maine lobster roll on a grilled bun with a bit of mayonnaise.

The older she gets, the more attention her continued affinity for lobstering seems to get. The older she gets, the more people seem to ask when she plans on retiring too, but she always gives them the same answer.

“When I die. Everybody gonna die sometime. You not gonna live forever, so why let it bother you?”

Even long after she retires, though, she can rest assured that her legacy will live on forever.

The story she’s written for her own life is so remarkable that it was even the subject of a documentary produced by a local historical society a few years back.

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