LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Who says getting older means slowing down?
That is certainly not the case for five people we are featuring this week in our latest series, "Super Seniors" They are 65 years or older, retired, or close to it, and still active whether in the gym or their community.
At 91-years-old, Ralph Halverson is active in both.
Twice a week he works out with a trainer at 10 Fitness in Maumelle. However, at New Life Church in Little Rock is where his passion really shines.
Halverson is responsible for operating the camera at every Saturday and Sunday service at his church.
“I have run all five of the cameras at one time or the other. I just get behind the camera and then there is nowhere else to go,” Halverson said.
Halverson has been running cameras at New Life Church since its start nearly 20 years ago and at his home church in Florida before that.
“They put a camera on a tripod and said ‘OK this is the focus and this is the zoom.’ That was it, that was my training. I had never run a video camera before,” said Halverson.
While he may not have been familiar with moving images, Halverson was a master at still photography back in the day.
“I joined the Navy right out of high school because I didn't want to get drafted,” laughed Halverson. “Fortunately, I went to photo school out of boot camp.”
Both Halverson and his wife were photographers in the Navy and traveled the world capturing images.
“Every place I went I was allowed to have a dark room somewhere. In the closet or the basement or somewhere to shoot film, develop it and I would learn how to do that,” said Halverson.
His wife passed away in 2015, but his love for photography lingers on through his volunteerism.
“He is always in a rush to sign up for the camera so no one else can get it, I think, and if for some reason he’s not on the schedule he usually shows up anyway just in case they need him,” said Halverson’s daughter, Karen Fagaly.
His dedication does not go unnoticed. In December, the church staff honored him for his volunteerism during a Sunday service.
“He is definitely the oldest serving member of our serve team, I think 20 years. As long as our church has been around he’s been serving,” said Pastor Chris Ochterbeck. “We did a day at our church where we honored some volunteers and the first person we wanted to honor was Ralph. We honored him not just because of his age and his serving, but because of the way he serves. With integrity and excellence and he’s here all the time. It's a mix of all that for Ralph.”
Halverson said he plans to continue to serve at New Life Church as long as he is able and hopes to inspire more people, of all ages, to volunteer.