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FRED HALE SR., 113, CONSIDERED WORLD'S OLDEST MAN
DEC. 1, 1890 -- NOV. 19, 2004

Fred Hale Sr., documented as the world's oldest man, died Friday. He was 113.

Mr. Hale died peacefully in his sleep in Nottingham a Syracuse, suburb, while trying to recover from a bout of pneumonia, said his grandson, Fred Hale III. He was 12 days shy of his 114th birthday.

The world's oldest living man is now Hermann Dornemann, 111, of Germany. There are 26 living women older than he, according to Gerontology Research Group, which monitors supercentarians.

Born Dec. 1, 1890, Mr. Hale last month watched his lifelong favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, win the World Series again after 86 years.

He outlived three of his five children. He had nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

Mr. Hale retired 50 years ago as a railroad postal worker and beekeeper, his grandson said. He enjoyed gardening, canning fruit and vegetables and making homemade applesauce.

"He had a routine, and he rarely broke it because anyone else was around," Hale III said. "He didn't need a lot to be happy."

At age 95, Mr. Hale flew to Japan to visit his grandson, Chris Hale, in the Navy. While on his way back to the United States, he stopped in Hawaii. Donned in Hawaiian-print shorts, Mr. Hale tried to boogie board.

He was born in New Sharon, Maine, the same year as the Battle of Wounded Knee, when there were only 43 stars on the American flag. He married his sweetheart, Flora Mooers, before a justice of the peace, who was also his father-in-law, in 1910. She died in 1979 at age 89.

After retiring, Mr. Hale worked for his daughter, Carolyn, at Lord's Lobster Pound in Maine, shelling lobsters in the morning and steaming clams in the afternoon.

He lived in his native Maine until he was 109, when he moved to the Syracuse area to be near his son, Fred Jr., now 82. At 103, Mr. Hale was still living on his own and shoveling the snow off his rooftop.

A beekeeper most of his life, he ate a half spoonfuls of honey a day.

He set the Guinness world record for the oldest driver. At age 108, he still found slow drivers annoying, his grandson said.

"He was never one of those ones to dawdle," he said.

Mr. Hale cut the cake at his 113th birthday party. On March 5, the Guinness Boof of World Records acknowledged him as the oldest living man when Joan Riudavets Moll, of Spain, passed away at age 114.

Mr. Hale's funeral will be held Tusday in South Portland, Maine.

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