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‘I Intend to Do This Until I Die’: At 103 Years Old, ‘Lobster Lady’ Prepares for 95th Lobster Hauling Season

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Virginia Oliver, who turned 103 on June 6, has been lobster hauling since she was 8 years old. Growing up in Maine, Oliver joined her older brother and father, who was a lobster dealer, on the family boat.

Almost a century later, Oliver is still committed to the fisherman lifestyle, revving up for her 95th lobster hauling season in a few weeks, The Washington Post reported.

Lobstering isn’t exactly the easiest of professions, even for the most young and agile. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health labels lobster fishing as a “hazardous occupation” due to the risks of being pulled overboard and entanglement trap lines. Still, Oliver has committed her life to the work and doesn’t intend to slow down anytime soon.

“You have to keep moving,” Oliver told the outlet. “I intend to do this until I die.”

Oliver has four children (three of whom followed her career path of lobstering) and two grandchildren. When she’s not lobstering, she enjoys baking and cooking for her family, who come over every Saturday for dinner.

For 61 years, Oliver worked alongside her husband and fellow fisherman, Max Oliver, until his passing in 2006. Since then, Oliver’s son, Max Jr., 80, works by her side as her lobster hauling partner.

Related: 3 Lessons I Learned About Work Ethic From Milking Cows With My Father Every Evening

During the peak lobster season (typically June to September), Oliver and her son hit the Maine waters three days a week — mornings that start around 3 a.m.

“I don’t want to go five days, because that’s a regular job, and I don’t need that,” Oliver says in the 2021 short documentary, Conversations with The Lobster Lady.

Oliver’s youthful spirit and commitment to lobstering has garnered media attention over the years, and even inspired a children’s book titled The Lobster Lady: Maine’s 102-Year-Old Legend, published last year.

In the 2021 documentary, Oliver laughs about needing stitches after getting bitten by a crab during one of her excursions.

“[The doctor said], ‘What are you doing out there, anyway?’ and I said, Well that’s because I want to go.’ He really made me mad,” she said in the film while laughing, “I’m pretty independent.”

Related: 4 Reasons Following Your Passion Leads to Success

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