AUSTIN (KXAN) — Prior to Richard Overton’s death in December 2018, he was known for many things: His love for cigars and whiskey, his storied history in Central Texas and his status as both the oldest living man and oldest living World War II veteran in the United States.
In the three years since his passing, Overton’s gravesite has been marked with a small plaque. In the next month, though, a new monument will adorn his memorial site — one that’s been years in the making.
Gilbert Beall and Donna Brown of Beall Memorial Art in Austin are putting the final touches on a monument created in his honor, with plans to install the memorial at Overton’s plot in the Texas State Cemetery in the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Both the coronavirus pandemic and lags in funds delayed completion and installation of the monument. When KXAN spoke with Beall and Brown last June, an additional $13,000 was needed to finish the piece.
Beall confirmed to KXAN that, as of Tuesday, Beall Memorial Art has received the final donations needed to finish the project. His business has been responsible for memorial sites across the state, including more than 200 monuments for the Texas State Cemetery alone.
Prior to Overton’s death, Beall had the opportunity to meet him and left with some of Overton’s classic nuggets of wisdom he was known for.
“You know, he told me the same thing he told everybody else, which is basically that he went to church on Sunday, he didn’t inhale his cigars and you had just a little whiskey in your coffee in the morning,” Beall said, smiling.
Overton is buried at the Texas State Cemetery, located at 909 Navasota St. in Austin.