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Public Viewing and Burial Service to be Held for Richard Overton

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There’s still time for Texans to give a final salute to Richard Overton, the country’s oldest man and oldest World War II veteran, who passed away at the age of 112 in late December. A public viewing will be held on Friday, January 11, from noon to 7 p.m. The viewing will take place at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 N. Lamar Blvd., in central Austin.

Overton’s funeral service will be held Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Shoreline Church, and a public burial will take place at the Texas State Cemetery that afternoon at 2 p.m. According to Overton’s cousin, Volma Overton Jr., the funeral will be attended by a number of state and military officials. These include Texas Governor Greg Abbott, General John Murray of Army Futures Command, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and all of them are likely to speak during the service. Overton will rest next to his cousin Volma Overton Sr. The World War II veteran will also be honored with a 21-gun salute.

Public Viewing and Burial Service to be Held for Richard Overton

Photo: Facebook/Richard Overton

Overton passed away at a rehabilitation facility on December 27, 2018. On Christmas Eve, he’d been admitted to St. David’s Medical center, suffering from pneumonia. Following his passing, the Overton family has been overwhelmed at the show of love and respect from all around the world. Flowers, cards, and social media messages have come in by the droves.

Richard Arvin Overton was born on May 11, 1906, in Bastrop County, Texas. Overton volunteered for the army in 1942 and served with the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, an all-black unit, and spent much of his time on South Pacific islands, including Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Of Iwo Jima, Overton is said to have remarked, “I only got out of there by the grace of God.” After the war ended, Overton came home to the Texas Hill Country and lived a long and very full life.