A life well-lived: Laguna Woods Village resident Irving Piken died on Feb. 23, 2020. At 111, Piken was believed to be the oldest man in the U.S., according to the Gerontology Research Group in December.
The above video was made when he was 107 years old. Irving Piken celebrated his 111th birthday on Friday, December 20, 2019, officially making him a supercentenarian (people who live past 110). Amazingly, Irv still visits the Village’s Community Fitness Center two to three times a week, where he exercises on a NuStep machine. Not surprisingly, the Fitness Center staff is quite fond of Irv. They’ve honored him with a birthday party every year since he turned 100.
Irv continued to drive to the fitness center until he was 102.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Irv is a life-long Dodgers fan. He watched his first game at just 8 years old—more than 100 years ago. Over the years, he saw all the greats, but his favorite player is Jackie Robinson. “I enjoy hearing the games and hopefully I’ll be around when the season starts again,” he said. Two years ago when Irv turned 108, the Dodgers recognized him as the team’s oldest living Dodger’s fan.
In New York, Irv worked in finance as a lawyer. He moved to California in 1977, where he has lived in Laguna Woods Village for 41 years. Irv has two children, three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Irv’s hearing isn’t what it used to be, but he can understand what you’re saying as long as you shout into his right ear. At his party, friends took turns bending down to shout birthday wishes in his ear, eliciting many smiles. On this day, he stated that he was having a difficult time seeing, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying his party. “I’m not sure that I’m happy to be this old,” he joked, insisting that his party hat be fixed when it was knocked askew.
After several rounds of “Happy Birthday,” Irv was presented with a letter of congratulations from California Governor Jerry Brown. Brandon Urrutia, Field Deputy to Lisa A. Bartlett, Supervisor, Fifth District, presented a certificate of recognition on behalf of the City of Laguna Woods Mayor Carol Moore.