Richard Overton recently celebrated his 108th birthday with family and friends at his home in East Austin. Overton was born in Bastrop County on May 11, 1906, and he is the oldest living WWII veteran.
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Editor’s Note: This story originally posted in 2014. Supercenturian Richard Overton (now 110 years old) is the oldest living Texan. Mr. Overton has out-lived all of his closest relatives and is in need of 24/7 care in his home in East Austin. His family is requesting donations to keep him living in his home instead of a nursing home. To donate, view a documentary of Mr. Overton, his family, and recognitions, please visit his GoFundMe page.
Overton alternately sat and stood with a cane on his fresh green lawn in the early summer sunlight, which finally reappeared this morning after a bout of cloudy and rainy weather. It was just in time for the friends and neighbors who stopped by to wish Overton well, while his first cousins and their children shared lunch in the living room, kitchen and on the porch and lawn. Overton wore his trademark blue WWII Veteran ball cap, and a birthday ribbon bearing a $20 bill was pinned to his shirt.
FOX NEWS in Atlanta reported about Overton yesterday, noting that he still holds a driver’s license, drinks a bit of whiskey, eats small meals and occasionally indulges in cookies and tacos. He has smoked cigars since the age of 18 and even gave a box of his favorites to President Barrack Obama when they met last Veteran’s Day. FOX also reported that Overton avoids prescription medications and only takes aspirin to thin his blood. Overton, who does not have children, told FOX that his only regret is not getting re-married after his second wife died.
A Washington D.C. ground crew from Southwest Airlines was also in attendance at the party, saying that when Overton flew to the nation’s capitol last year as part of Southwest’s Honor Flight program, he insisted that they come see him. Southwest’s Honor Flight program flies World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorial constructed in their honor. When the coordinator asked Overton if he would come visit her in D.C., he quickly quipped, “You’d better ask your husband about that.” Laughter erupted.