Cook-Walden Funeral Home

6100 North Lamar, Austin, TX


Richard A. Overton

May 11, 1906December 27, 2018

Richard A. Overton, age 112, the oldest living WWII Veteran died peacefully on Thursday, December 27, 2018 surrounded by his family. He was born in Bastrop County, Texas on May 11, 1906 to Gentry Overton Sr. and Elizabeth "Lizzie" Franklin. He lived most of his young life in Creedmoor, community of Pleasant Valley (school and church named after this community). He participated in the annual July 4th Pleasant Valley Community Reunion which began in the 1970s. Mr. Overton was a longtime resident of Austin, Texas, living on 2011 Hamilton Ave, he was honored to have the street re-named after him on his birthday May 11, 2017.

A Celebration of life for Richard will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM at Shoreline Church, 15201 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas. Committal services, with Full Military Honors will take place on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota Street, Austin, Texas.

Mr. Overton volunteered for the Army starting in 1942 and served with the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, an all-black unit that served on various islands in the Pacific. "He was there at Pearl Harbor when the battleships were still smoldering. He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said. 'I only got out of there by the grace of God,'" former President Barack Obama said while honoring Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in 2013.

He credited God for living so long but said he didn't take any medicine and enjoyed his vices.

"I drink whiskey in my coffee. Sometimes I drink it straight," he said when he was 107. "I smoke my cigars, blow the smoke out; I don't swallow it."

In a statement Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called Mr. Overton "an American icon and a Texas legend."

"With his quick wit and kind spirit he touched the lives of so many, and I am deeply honored to have known him," Abbott said. "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."

"I still walk, I still talk, and I still drive," Overton said, before hopping into his Ford F100 Custom pickup truck. Overton also said he liked to go to church and enjoyed the singing. He also loved caring for his cats.

Family, friends and strangers all helped celebrate his 112th birthday in May by visiting him at his home.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents Gentry and Lizzie Overton, six sisters: Annie Bell of Austin, TX, Lola Sneed of Seattle, WA, Dora Bradford of Stockton, CA, Lillie Mae of Seattle, WA, Tenola Overton of Austin, TX, Geneva Overton of Austin, TX; and three brother: Hilliard Overton of Austin, TX, Irwin Overton of Los Angeles, CA, Gentry Overton Jr. of Austin, TX.

Richard is survived by many cousins and extended family members.

"On behalf of the Overton Family, we would like to express sincere gratitude to the staff for the amazing job you have done. The care that you provided is not definable through mere words. We are truly grateful for all that you do!"

Public viewing will be held from 12:00-6:00pm on Friday, January 11, 2019 at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, Texas 78752.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00am, Saturday, January 12, 2019 at Shoreline Church, 15201 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78728. Interment will be held at 2:00pm in Texas State Cemetery in 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, www.honorflightaustin.org.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.cookwaldenfuneralhome.com for the Overton family.


  • Viewing Open to the Public

    Friday, January 11, 2019

  • A Celebration of Life

    Saturday, January 12, 2019

  • Committal Service

    Saturday, January 12, 2019


Richard A. Overton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jason Burrows

January 16, 2020

To the Overton family, I do not know your family personally but I was just watching a video of Mr. Richard Overton , his life and service to our wonderful country. I want to thank him for his service personally because I know he will receive this message in Heaven, Mr. Overton, I thank you for your service to our country. You fought in a very difficult time of war. You defended our country, and all of us who still can enjoy FREEDOM for wich you have helped make possible. You risked your life to preserve ours. There are no words that could do justice to you for what you done for us . You are a brave man, and obviously one with a big heart and passionate for others. The men and women of our armed forces are cut from a different cloth. Without you and the rest of our service members, we may not have the opportunities in life that we all who live her have. Our soilders do not and have not ever been recognized enough for their service to protect our country . You were right when you said ( if it's not your time, God has you and will protect and take care of you and the bullets fired at you will instead fly over your head). I believe that 100 percent and that faith in God you have is I believe why he did protect you. Thank sir, for your service and at the same time , the teaching you have taught us about, faith, and love is what we all need. I need faith in Jesus, and love for him and one another. We are all decendents of Jesus Christ and therefore we really all as a people ,are family through Christ. I love you Mr.Overton and all your family, as we are all Gods Children . My Lord and savior Jesus Christ, I pray that the family of Mr Overton be blessed and their hearts to be healed and know that one day they will see him again. Jesus Christ, you are our comforter and always there beside us when we need you most, even if we dont realize sometimes . Thank you for Mr. Overton and his family, your name my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.

Samuel Craig

June 4, 2019

I just found the Youtube video and what a surprise. I wish I had to chance to talk to him. What a wonderful man. I am 66 and was in the Marines in Vietnam 69-70 and I really respect people like Mr. Overton and my faith in humanity is restored. God speed Sir.

LuLu Blanks

May 22, 2019

Thank You For Your Service.
Rest Easy Sir REST EASY!!

Cathy Angell

January 12, 2019

Bless you, Mr. Overton, and thank you for your service to our country and for your love of our city of Austin. Thank you, also, for reminding all of us what it means to be real.

Sincere condolences to the whole Overton family. Thank you for sharing him with all of us. May you find peace and love through all the interesting and wonderful memories that will live on forever.

Michelle Henderson

January 12, 2019

Richard was my Grand mother's 1st cousin. Sleep in HEAVENLY PEACE Cousin Richard❤️ . We Love you.

Anya Juan Risco

January 12, 2019

To the World War II Veteran Richard A. Overton Family, May God Bless your family in this time of need.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted.”
To the Greatest Generation The World War II Veterans!

Earnestine Clark

January 11, 2019

Thank's for your service Mr.Richard Overton You will be really miss .May you rest in heaven.To God be the glory!!!

Mr Ms Anthony Bridgett Barclay

January 11, 2019

Thank you for your service Mr. Overton.
You will be missed may you rest in peace

Doris Williams

January 10, 2019

Thank you, Mr. Overton for your service. I know you left a truck load of memories with family and friends a tribute to your legacy that they will share. You showed us insight about longevity and living a long life. You said you smoked, drank, and just lived your life. But as you outlived every one of us you did it with dignity. The dignity with which you lived life in the face of adversity drew the attention of Presidents and Governors to the extent that could not be denied. Now at the end of your life may you R.I.P with the dignity that was denied you in the beginning.

Chris Hagin

January 9, 2019

Mr. Overton, thank you for all that you’ve done for this country! You were such an inspiration to me and I wish I could’ve met you. You will never be forgotten! God Bless you Mr. Overton!


1st Cousin Thelma Jean Crenshaw-Collins


Martin and Shimanda Wilford


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