Austin veteran celebrates 107th birthday



Posted on May 11, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Updated Saturday, May 11 at 10:41 PM

AUSTIN -- Austin resident Richard Overton has turned 107.

Born in 1906, the City of Austin says Overton is the oldest living World War II veteran. When he was born, the average pay was 22 cents an hour and life expectancy was only 47 years.

On Saturday Overton turned 107. He says he credits God and yard work for his good health.

"That's God's work. Because I can walk and talk and drive - do like I did when I was 40 years old," Overton said. "Most of the time I just do a little work.  I sweep yards and I cut yards. Do a little work. Sweep the driveway."

Overton grew up near Bastrop and after returning home from his military service overseas, he worked for the Texas Treasury Department in Austin. He lives in the same East Austin house he built when he got out of the service at the end of World War II.

Overton says he is in good health and takes care of himself by mowing yards, taking one baby aspirin a day, attending church every Sunday and enjoys the company of many friends.

"It's unbelievable. I remember when he was 85 and left the Treasury. To be sitting here with him being 107, it's just beyond your comprehension," longtime friend Anthony Haynes said.

The Austin City Council recognized Overton at the May 9 council meeting. Mayor Lee Leffingwell presented Overton with a birthday proclamation.

During the proclamation ceremony, the mayor invited Overton on the next Honor Flight Austin trip to Washington, D.C., scheduled for May 17.

"That's the only thing that will keep you living," he said. "You got to keep moving. You don't sit down and watch TV all the time. You have to keep moving."