AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott gave a touching speech during Richard Overton’s funeral in Austin Saturday morning.
The funeral took place at the Shoreline Church at 11 a.m.
Several people took the podium to talk about the legacy of Mr. Overton, who was America’s oldest WWII veteran, including Mayor Steve Adler and Abbott.
During his speech, Abbott referred to the veteran as a Texas legend, an American icon and a man of God who touched the lives of many.
Abbott touched on how much Overton accomplished in his life.
“We celebrate Mr. Overton not because of how long he lived, instead we celebrate him for how he lived his live,” Abbott said. "What stood out the most was his genuine kindness and compassion. It was the sheer joy that he had just in living and the humility and grace with which he lived."
The Texas governor also took the time to share a funny story of Overton. At one point in his speech, Abbott said Mr. Overton once challenged him to a “wheelchair race” on his 109th birthday at the Governor’s Mansion.
“He challenged me to a wheelchair race,” said Abbott. “And I got to thinking, man how embarrassing would it be for me to lose a wheelchair race to a man who is 109 years old.”
Overton said his secret to living so long was cigars and whisky, Abbott said laughing.
Abbott concluded his speech by reading a bible verse that he said described Overton perfectly.
“Therefor as God’s chosen people, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
“God was talking about Richard Overton,” Overton said.