ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A 99-year-old Albuquerque veteran shows us it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby – and even become pretty good at it. Focused with tools in hand, Benito Casaus, who turns 100 in May, spends a lot of time painting. “I like to…be busy all the time,” said Casaus.
Casaus was born in Cuba, New Mexico, only having formal schooling until 8th-grade before heading to the Civilian Conservation Corps. He joined the army when he was 19 and served in World War Two.
“I went all through the Pacific Islands there, all the way to the Philippines and the invasion of the Philippines,” he said. At nearly 100 years old, Casaus has six kids, 21 grandkids, and 11 great-grandkids. It was with his grandkids he picked up a paintbrush just a few years ago.
“When I started painting, I thought I was good at painting,” said Casaus. He hasn’t stopped since, even turning to famous painter Bob Ross for some extra tips. “Yeah, I learned it from my friend Ross,” he said. He’s created dozens of paintings, even selling some. Over the years, Casaus never stopped learning.
“Painting is like reading. The more you read, the more you’re interested in reading because it’s good, you learn,” he said. Which he said is the key to living a long life as beautiful as his paintings. “You’re never too old to learn things, yeah…you always, you can learn every day from day-to-day, you can learn new things,” he said.
He plans to celebrate his 100th birthday in May with a big party, he said 200 people are invited.