AUSTIN (KXAN) — Shortly after the news of World War II veteran Richard Overton’s death, condolences and memories came pouring in from around Texas and the nation.
Overton’s cousin, Volma Overton Jr., said the family will miss the funny 112-year-old and that his memory will keep them going.
“We are truly blessed for everyone who has shown support and prayers, everyone who was encouraging to him and our family,” Volma Overton Jr. said. “We are so thankful.”
People gathered at a mural on 12th and Chicon Streets that depicts Overton. They sang songs in his honor and did two his favorite things: drank whiskey and smoked cigars.
Gov. Greg Abbott called Richard Overton an “American icon and a Texas legend,” in a statement.
“With his quick wit and kind spirit he touched the lives of so many, and I am deeply honored to have known him,” Abbott wrote. “Richard Overton made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans. We can never repay Richard Overton for his service to our nation and for his lasting impact on the Lone Star State.”
People, including Rep. Lloyd Doggett, shared photos of the veteran and remembered his “service, spirit and longevity.”
Sen. John Cornyn simply said “A life well lived.”
Rep. Roger Williams said he had the honor of knowing Overton well and will miss him dearly.
“Sitting on his porch and listening to him tell stories are memories I will never forget,” Williams wrote. “I am thankful for his service to our country, and I am eternally grateful to have had him in my life as a friend and role model.”
Rep. Will Hurd shared a quote of Overton’s that said “You don’t know when you get here. You don’t know when you go. It’s in God’s hands.” Hurd added that “Our words will never be enough to fully show our gratitude for your selfless service. Fair winds and following seas, my friend.”
A Twitter account called EverythingTX shared a picture of the born-and-raised Texan smoking his signature cigar that he claimed helped him live a long life.