DeWitt: Isadore 'Izzy' Warshaw: Young at heart

When do you start counting your age with half-year marks again? When you've lived to be well over 100 years old, that's when.

Isadore "Izzy" Warshaw celebrated his 105th birthday this past December at his current residence in Menorah Park, a senior living community located in DeWitt.

Five years ago, when Warshaw turned 100, the birthday theme formed around Frank Sinatra's famous song "Young at heart" -- a song that couldn't be more fitting for a man who's lived more than a century.

"Here I am, still young at heart," Warshaw said.

Born in 1901 -- the same year Theodore Roosevelt was elected president of the United States -- Warshaw attributes his longevity to many "secrets," one of which is his love for learning. At one point while living at The Oaks, a division of Menorah Park, he owned more than 700 books on all subjects. Warshaw said he positioned his leather bookcase opposite his bed so he could see his "pets."

"That's how I kept young," he said. "I kept acquiring things. I studied the history of medicine, and studied lots of things."

Even if he thought he would never use the knowledge he so diligently obtained, he sought it anyway.

"One of my slogans is 'Learn new things just for the fun of it,'" Warshaw said. "Just to enjoy."

Warshaw applied that philosophy his entire life and in all aspects of living. While many people tend to cringe from personal and professional challenges, he continuously embraced them.

"I was the general manager of a lumber company," Warshaw said. "I was one of the early originators that developed a consumer-oriented building supply store like Home Depot. It was the happiest and most enjoyable job I ever had because I didn't know anything about it. I had to learn things. There was a great exhilaration in learning things that I never knew before."

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