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ATTORNEY, 99, NEVER RETIRED

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Attorney M.B. "Ben" Rustan of Nashwauk, Minn., tried to negotiate a 20-year lease for his law office back in 1981, when he was 91.

When he turned 99, he told a bank cashier he wanted to buy the longest term certificates of deposit possible.Rustan expected to be practicing law July 4, on his 100th birthday.

But the man who hung his law shingle in this Iron Range town of northwestern Minnesota in 1918 died Sunday of a heart seizure.

What made Rustan's achievements even more remarkable was the fact he was blind. His eyes were removed when he was 5 as the result of spinal meningitis. He wore glasses with frosted lenses.

But no one seems to mention his blindness until they've talked about how dedicated to his job he was, how meticulous in dress he was, how serious he was.