Old and still Twinning….

Imagine being the oldest person in the world alive today. Having lived through World War II, when the television was still black and white up to the era of the internet, it’s a pretty amazing feat.

Image ref: NatGeo

The world’s average life expectancy is more or less 72 years, yet some people have more surpassed that target and have lived for 30 to 40 years more.

Now imagine that they are Twins! Two identical (or fraternal) people from the same womb with the same surname, living that long together!

Curious to know who these living legends are? Keep scrolling.

Concie Marshall and Leila Moag:

The twins whose maiden name was Morris were joined by family and friends to celebrate their record-setting 102nd birthday on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

Leila’s husband Roger and Concie’s husband Doug were Lieutenant Commanders in the Royal Australian Navy and were often overseas on naval postings.

The pair are extremely close, having celebrated almost all of their birthdays together except for a few times when one or the other was away on account of their husband’s naval postings.

Although their father lived until he was 104, they say their secret to a long and fruitful life is to “Drink plenty of cold water and no white wine or whiskey.”

The twins have six grandchildren between them, with three belonging to each of their daughters. The sisters have mild dementia and a little hearing issue.

Edith Dumbleton and Dorcas Tobin:

The twins turned 101 years old on 28 June and they were joined by family and friends to celebrate at a country pub.

The sisters, from Broadwas in Worcestershire were born 45 minutes apart in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1920. They both went to work at the age of 14 and Ms Tobin joined the Land Army, but Ms Dumbleton said she did not enjoy working outdoors.

The sisters whose maiden name was Love, now have five children, 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

When asked their secret to long life, they said “Everything is just part of life that you live through and get out the other end of it so, do not stress.”

Dorothy Lucie Sivyer (née Whitehead) Kathleen Mary Whitehead:

Image ref: The Independent

The pair – who call themselves ‘The Twinnies’ – were born in 1920 and despite their different personalities, the pair from Rochester, Kent, said they have “never quarrelled”.

Eldest by a few minutes, Kath worked as a radar operator during WW2, and while she was once engaged, has never married or had children.

But Dotty, a radiographer who treated soldiers returning from the Normandy beaches, is a widow with three children, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

The pair said their secret to a long and happy life is everything in moderation, a huge group of girlfriends and always being active.

The identical 100-year-old twins sat side-by-side to receive their coronavirus vaccines together.

Tracie Banser (née Arena) and Yolanda Lonnie Buseman (née Arena):

These two will celebrate their 101st birthdays on October 1, 2021.

The identical twins both live at Lexington Square Senior Living Community in Elmhurst. They reside on the same floor and said they have been inseparable all their lives. Lonnie and Tracie’s close bond began early on in West Virginia, where they were born in 1920. With six brothers and one other sister, they lived in a full house. But they both said they were extremely happy growing up, thanks to their loving parents.

Growing up, Tracie got a job at Motorola, and Lonnie at a dress factory. But the two couldn’t stay apart, and Lonnie eventually went to work for Motorola as well.

Their secret to a long, happy life is always having someone by your side.

Mary Cox and Georgina Cliff:

The identical twin sisters will celebrate their 101st birthdays on October 14, 2021.

The twins which were born five minutes apart at Middle Farm, Chawley Lane, Cumnor, had Deborah and George Neale as their parents.

Both girls went to Cumnor village school, then won scholarships to the Oxford Central Girls’ School in New Inn Hall Street, leaving at 16 with school certificates and secretarial qualifications.

Mary worked at Wolsey Hall in Oxford as a shorthand typist and secretary and, during the war, with the Ministry of Food in Botley Road and met lay preacher Leslie Cox.

Georgina started work as a shorthand typist and secretary with the Oxford Society, a university body and the Ministry of Health in St Giles during the war after which she married Basil Cliff, from Lincolnshire.

The sisters’ interests are Gardening, politics and bird watching and when asked what has kept them going to 100 plus, they said “Exercise, hard work and good genes.” in unison.

Asides the above-mentioned individuals, we have a set of unique twins who have lived as long as possible, through the worst of circumstances – conjoined twins.

Ronnie and Donnie Galyon (October 28, 1951 – 2020):

At 66 years old and counting, Ronnie and Donnie Galyon are the oldest living conjoined twins in the world. They are also the only male conjoined twins alive right now. In 2014, Ronnie and Donnie were recognized for their remarkable longevity and now hold the official Guinness World Record as Oldest Conjoined Twins Ever.

They were connected from the sternum to the groin and have separate hearts and stomachs, but share a set of lower digestive organs. The Galyon twins were carnival and sideshow entertainers for over 30 years and were featured in the news and on television. Before their death, Ronnie and Donnie retired and lived in a house that they bought with their sideshow earnings.

Lori and George Schappell (September 18, 1961 – Present):

Image ref: Oldest.org

Lori and George (Dori) Schappell, are probably the most interesting conjoined twins alive. They claim in interviews that they live “very normal lives”, which they have had to fight for. After it was determined that Lori and George could not be separated, a court decided to take them away from their parents and placed them in an institution for patients with severe mental disabilities despite the fact that neither twin is mentally impaired. However, when the Schappells were in their early 20s, they fought a legal battle with the institution to be released and ended up winning.

Since then, the Schappells have lived rich and full lives. George, who was originally named Dori and female, said that he identified as male and has been living as a man since around 2006. Lori has had several relationships and was even engaged before her fiancé was killed by a drunk driver. Both twins have appeared in various documentaries and have also acted in scripted television shows.

It is worthy of note that they might be older twins in other climes like Africa, Asia or the middle east but the ones featured here were recorded on reliable media platforms and are alive as at when this article was written.

If you know of any living twins (men or women) who are septuagenarians in any community, do share with us in the comment section.

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