Advice from the 'Wisest Generation': 'Spend time with your children'

MERCER ISLAND -- All month, we've brought you the amazing stories from the elderly members of our community: Our aging parents and grandparents who encompass what I like to call, the "Wisest Generation." It's a group of people we so often ignore; or we interact with them often in our lives, but don't take the time to ask them questions. These men and women have such incredible and unique stories to share; and their experiences contain life lessons that can help us all. Think about it: Why aren't we looking to these amazing members of the community for guidance and advice, when they have decades of experience to draw from?

The latest story in our series comes from Walter and Paula Schlotterbeck, 89 and 88 years old, respectively. The couple, married for 64 years, live in the Aljoya Mercer Island retirement community.

When they met, Walter was in law school, and Paula was working in merchandising, living with a friend in Long Island, New York. Walter took the subway, the bus, and then walked a mile just to see her. "And he'd whistle down the street," Paula says, before Walter adds, "Well in New York, you had to whistle, to show you weren't scared- even though you were wondering who's coming around the corner!"

Walter and Paula agree their three children are one of their biggest sources of pride in their lives. I ask what the key was to raising such good kids. "Spend time with them!" Paula immediately says. "And play by the rules," Walter added. "Set a good example... if you can. And they'll let you know if you don't!"

Their advice to younger generations? "Be independent," Walter says. "Make up your own mind... be yourself, that's the key."

Watch the video above for more on how they met and their advice on raising children; watch the video below for more on their advice for younger generations.