Oldest living Pleasanton man turns 105

Orville Nightingale blows candles out on birthday cakes at RidgeView Commons, is visited by Amador marching band, firefighters

Every time Orville Nightingale celebrates his birthday, it brings a lot of fanfare -- and it should. After all, this year he turned 105.

Nightingale is the oldest living Pleasanton man, a title he's carried for quite a few years.

To celebrate his birthday, which was Sunday, his family organized a party Friday at RidgeView Commons, where he lives. There, he was treated to birthday cards and cake; a visit from Livermore-Pleasanton firefighters, fellow seniors and family members; and a performance by some members of the Amador Valley High School marching band.

Nightingale sang along with the RidgeView resident piano player, who performed "Give My Regards to Broadway," which was the No. 1 song in 1904, his birth year.

"It just puts you in awe, and particularly because he is so sharp," daughter Marilyn said of her centenarian father. "He started life in a horse and buggy, he was telling us, to go to school. He lived through all the different phases of the century and the wars. It's unbelievable."

Nightingale was born Oct. 25, 1904 in Kansas City, Mo. and was one of the founding members of DeMolay International, which is a worldwide young men's organization.

Over the past century, he's rubbed shoulders with a number of notable people -- he used to play cards with former President Harry Truman, danced with Ginger Rogers and has met Lucille Ball and Mary Pickford, according to Marilyn Nightingale. Truman and Rogers (who was known then as Virginia McMath) were both from Independence, Mo., where Nightingale grew up.

Grandsons Shane and Ryan Burns, 24 and 22, said they're grateful for their grandfather's longevity.

"It's pretty exciting," Shane Burns said. "He can tell stories from when he was my age. He remembers every detail, too."

"I feel pretty fortunate," added Ryan Burns. "It's just something you don't get used to."

Nightingale moved to RidgeView in 1992 and was one of its first residents.


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