Richmond

Acclaimed Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin Returns After Stroke

98-year-old says on Facebook she'll be back at her post "every Wednesday into the future"

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The nation's oldest national park ranger returned to work this week at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond after a five-month absence.

Betty Reid Soskin, 98, who suffered a stroke in September, posted a message to Facebook indicating she would be back at her visitor center post "every Wednesday into the future" if all goes as planned.

"I'm fine," she said. "I'm not quite the person that I was."

Soskin, long known as the oldest active park ranger working for the National Park Service, has gained national fame for her observations, but just before her illness, she had taken a break from her full schedule of appearances, a pause she attributed to fatigue.

"I would suggest that anyone continue to do what they love doing as long as they can," Soskin said. "I think that's what gives life its meaning."

While not 100% now, Soskin said she's feeling better. She spent a few hours Wednesday reconnecting with colleagues and visitors at the historical park.

"We'll take as much Betty as we can get, but we're never going to jeopardize her health in terms of wanting her to be here," Kelli English with the National Park Service said.

Soskin also is the author of the acclaimed "Sign My Name To Freedom," which chronicles her experiences as a young worker in a WWII-segregated union hall, a singer, activist, mother, legislative representative, and park planner, according to news website the Richmond Standard.

Gloria Bates-Edwards showed up to the historical park Wednesday to get her copy of Soskin's book signed.

"I see her as a role model," Bates-Edwards said.

A new documentary about Soskin titled "No Time to Waste" is set to play on Feb. 2 at the San Rafael Film Center and on Feb. 22 at the Presidio Theatre in San Francisco, the news outlet said.

Hello friends! This is actually Betty. Five months after a stroke, I'm back at work. Not "actually", but at the...

Posted by Betty Reid Soskin on Tuesday, January 14, 2020
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