Nation's oldest living veteran Richard Overton dies in Austin at age 112

- The nation’s oldest living veteran, Richard Overton, has died in a rehab facility in Austin, Texas. He was 112 years old.

Family says Overton was admitted to the hospital last week with pneumonia. He died Thursday. 

A funeral has been set for Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. at Shoreline Church on Burnet Rd. Committal services, with Full Military Honors will take place on Saturday, Jan.12 at 2:00 p.m. at Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota Street, Austin, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Richard's memory may be made to Honor Flight Austin, 815-A Brazos Street, UPS Box 498, Austin, Texas 78701, HonorFlightAustin.org

If you would like to view Mr. Overton's official Obituary visit www.cookwaldenfuneralhome.com.

 

Overton was born near Bastrop in 1906 and served in the army for three years during World War II. He spent the majority of his life in Austin and was often seen on the porch of his home, which he built in East Austin in 1945. 

He gave credit to God for his longevity, but he always said cigars and whiskey helped.

“I been smoking cigars from when I was 18 years old, I’m still a smoking ‘em. 12 a day,” he said.

 

 

The distinction of being the nation's oldest veteran brought quite a few visitors to his front porch. One person that graced that porch was former Gov. Rick Perry on Memorial Day in 2013.

“I just wanted to come by and visit with you,” Perry said at the time.     

 

 

On Veterans Day the same year, former President Barack Obama honored Overton in front of thousands in Washington. "His service on the battlefield was not always matched by the respect that he deserved at home. But this veteran held his head high," Obama said.         

 

 

In late 2016, the time came for 24/7 medical care.

Overton's family didn't want to see him go to a nursing home so they started a GoFundMe that reached over $450,000 and he was able to stay in his house.

When Overton turned 111, the Austin City Council gave the street he lived on for more than 70 years an honorary name, Richard Overton Avenue.

As for being the nation’s oldest veteran, Richard Overton was grateful. 

"I ain’t gettin rich but I feel glad," he said.

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