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106-year-old has seen it all: From wagons to microchips

The lifetime of John Carpenter has stretched from pioneer settlers to pioneers in space, and from quill pens to microchip computers.

He was born in 1884, the year Grover Cleveland was elected 22nd president of the United States, when Mark Twain completed Huckleberry Finn, and when the steam turbine engine was invented.He was born in a community of seven families along the San Simon River in eastern Arizona that later was to become the town of Thatcher. His father held up large buckets to keep the rain from a leaky roof off the newborn babe.

Today, 106 years later, Brother Carpenter lives with his son and daughter-in-law, Buren and Lenore Carpenter, in the Chandler (Ariz.) 8th Ward, where he moved to in 1970 as a widower.

He lived most of his long life in Thatcher where he and his wife, Jane Barney Thatcher, farmed and reared six children.

After moving to Chandler, his physical prowess was still noteworthy. At 86, he practiced chin-ups on a tree limb. About the same age he taught a granddaughter how to dance. He attended the temple daily until he was 100, and performed thousands of endowments. Until this year, he attended his Sunday meetings every week.

Asked for his secret of longevity, he replied, "It was because I never took anything into my body that was harmful, and I never overate."