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,

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at 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?

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!

Michael Biehunko

January 9, 2019

What an American Hero. May god bring his blessings upon this hero. He defintely has a VERY special place in heaven. May god bless the entire Overton family. Michael T. Biehunko San Marcos/Victoria, Texas

Angela Curtis

January 5, 2019

Please accept my condolences for your loss. Thank you for sharing Mr Overton with this nation. We are thankful for his service and the sacrifice by Mr Overton and his family. Rest well in heaven. Angela

Gerald Fox

January 5, 2019

Richard was a cheerful and informative conversationalist… a walking, talking history book. Whether I was visiting with him at church or just sitting with him out on his front porch, we had some interesting discussions, especially about the “old days” in Austin.

Richard had “friends in high places”; but, whether it be the President of the United States, the Governor of Texas, or a neighbor down the street, Richard treated everyone with the same kind and steady demeanor. Everybody liked Richard, and Richard liked everybody.

Any young person seeking a great mentor need look no further than Richard Overton. In fact we would all do well to emulate this good man’s exemplary Christian life.

Thank God for sending Richard our way. To have him for a friend was indeed a rare and wonderful blessing.


1st Cousin Thelma Jean Crenshaw-Collins


Martin and Shimanda Wilford