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Local man shares his secrets to living a happy, healthy life on his 98th birthday

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MOORE — After 98 years, Moore resident Kenneth “Ken” Malone knows a thing or two about living a happy and healthy life.

He’s celebrating his birthday Friday, and is reminiscent about his many years.

Kenneth “Ken” Malone was born in 1922, in Castleford, a city west of Twin Falls where he grew up. He dedicated a portion of his life to the military. He served as a Navy pilot in World War II and the Korean War.

In 1944, he married Jo Frances in Texas on a Navy airbase. Twenty years later, their only child came along.

A big part of Malone’s life was spent breeding and raising racehorses. Not only did he win awards for it, but he helped form an association that led to the Idaho Horse Racing Act being passed on March 5, 1963. The purpose of the Act was to authorize and regulate horse racing and a betting system on horse races.

Soon after it was passed, former Gov. Cecil Andrus appointed Malone as the Idaho Horse Racing Commissioner.

Over the years, Malone has hardly slowed down. He remains heavily involved in the horse racing community to this day. He keeps occupied by predicting the winners of horse races online. He usually analyzes two or three different horse tracks, daily.

But he also tries to make time for family. He’d recently been visiting his son in Philadelphia for the holidays when he got sick. After staying there to recover, he got better, but then COVID-19 hit.

“(My son said) ‘Papa, we got to get you out of here and the safest place for you with this virus is Idaho (and) we’re not going to put you on the plane. We’re going to go on a train,” Malone recalls his son saying.

After traveling for several days by rail, Malone returned to Idaho. He didn’t go to Castleford though, he moved to Moore to be close to a relative. Starting on this new adventure at his age is something some people might struggle with, but Malone knows a thing or two about making the most of the time he’s been given.

He recently spoke with to impart some of the wisdom he has gained.

“I tell everybody to take care of your heart. It is the most valuable thing you own,” he said. “Without your heart, you have nothing. I don’t care how much money you got, without your health, you have nothing.”

He recommends exercise, eating plenty of fruits and having a hobby.

“I have a lot of anxiety. In fact, I’ve even been hospitalized for it,” he said. “I can’t just sit still. I have to be doing something, so I analyze horses that race.”

Although he’s legally blind, he has a machine that helps him so he can read about the races.

“In life, you need something to look forward to. Without it, you just die. I’ve heard so many people in my lifetime that worked on the same job all their life. (When) they retire (and) never did have a hobby of any kind, they’re lost. They don’t have anything to look forward to,” he said. “To me, it’s very important to have something to look forward to all your life.”

Malone believes it’s important people experience everything they can in life.

He said he didn’t plan on living to be nearly a century old, but of all the lessons he’s learned in life, one stands out to him the most.

“Don’t take life too seriously because you don’t get out of it alive,” Malone said with a smile.