It’s said all good things come in threes.
That was certainly the case when Larry Alden Brown, Lon Bernard Brown, and Gene Carol Brown were born.
The triplet brothers, born on 1 December 1930, are celebrating their 93rd birthday today as the world’s oldest living triplets (male).
“We would’ve tried to get together at least one more time, but my brother Gene in Oklahoma is not doing well and cannot travel,” said Larry.
“We’ll each have our own celebrations as we are able.”
The last time the triplets were together was last year for their 92nd birthday when they were able to unite their families and spend quality time with one another.
“We were able to all get together last year for our 92nd birthday with our families and really enjoyed our time together,” said Larry.
“This was the last time the three of us were together.”
Despite the distance, Larry says their relationship has been close throughout the years.
They have always made sure to get together with each other’s family when possible and their kids are still close to each other to this day.
The brothers, originally from Kalvesta, Kansas, USA, were born during the Great Depression.
Larry was the firstborn, followed by Lon and Gene.
The brothers also have four older siblings - three brothers and one sister, who have all passed away.
“All were quite a bit older than we were as we were a late in life BIG surprise to our parents,” said Larry.
The doctor thought mom likely had twins, but there were three.
The brothers moved near Nevada, Missouri with their family when they were about seven years old and lived there until shortly after high school.
They have many fond memories of each other growing up.
Larry says although like any brothers they had their disagreements from time to time, being a triplet was great because they always had someone to play with.
In fact, he says they weren’t just brothers - they were friends.
The boys enjoyed playing basketball with each other and had an old basketball goal that they set up near a flat place in their dirt driveway.
“We also had boxing gloves and Gene and Lon would get into boxing matches,” said Larry.
“I didn’t care for getting hit in the face, so I didn’t do much of that.”
Larry says the farm they grew up on had a lot of timber and two creeks.
He remembers trapping and selling furs with his brothers there.
After a friend gifted the brothers their first rifle, they began to trap opossums, skunks, squirrels, rabbits, and muskrats.
“Lon was a good shooter,” said Larry.
He was the main trapper of the three of us.
The brothers also bonded over their first dog, White Jeggs, who was given to them by a neighbour.
“We loved Jeggs,” said Larry.
“He survived some pretty tough times.”
Unfortunately, Jeggs disappeared during a storm when the triplets moved to Missouri.
“We thought he was gone for good,” said Larry.
“Several months later, a neighbour was in town getting gas during a thunderstorm and Jeggs jumped in his car. He recognized that it was our dog and brought him home.”
About the time World War II started, the triplets began going to their oldest brother Gleeson’s home near Garden City, Kansas, to work during the summers.
Two of the triplets would go out and one would stay home to help with chores, rotating every summer.
There, they sold gas to farmers and local traffic from the highway.
“I delivered gasoline to farmers by myself at 11 and 12 years old,” recalled Larry.
“That was scary for me. I was afraid I would get lost or the Highway Patrol would stop me.”
Larry also remembers selling pop, oil, and grease products at the station.
He slept in the basement of the small house with his brothers, which served as part of the service station.
“We made enough money to buy all our clothes, schoolbooks, and supplies to get us through school,” said Larry.
I believe we worked out there through 1948.
The boys even dressed alike until they got older and decided they didn’t like the attention.
When the Korean War began between 1950 and 1951, all three brothers decided to sign up for the Air Force together.
Lon and Gene were accepted but Larry was not due to his asthma.
Later on in life, Lon became a Baptist minister and even performed Larry and Gene’s weddings!
Gene went on to college after the service and got his degree in electrical engineering, eventually working for the Phillips Petroleum Company until retirement.
Larry worked a short stint with the Boeing Company in Wichita, Kansas, and then worked for General Motors in Kansas City until his retirement.
Today, Larry, Lon, and Gene have their own families, who are all very close to one another.
Larry has three children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.
Lon has four children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Gene has two children, six grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Larry and Lon live in the senior living community Foxwood Springs in Raymore, Missouri, while Gene lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Although they never thought they would break a record title, Larry says they are glad they could make it long enough to do so.
He says the secret to a long and healthy life for him and his brothers has been staying away from smoking, drinking, and drugs.
“We always had each other as friends as well as brothers and we were always each other’s protectors,” said Larry.
We watched out for each other.
The triplets’ record-breaking age was verified by Robert Young, GWR’s lead consultant for gerontology – the study of various aspects of ageing.
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