A World War II veteran believed to be the oldest in the U.S. will be able to stay in his beloved Texas home for several more months thanks to the help of more than 2,500 people who raised more than $121,000.
Richard Overton, 110, has been living in his home in Austin, Texas for more than 70 years.
However, when his caretaker started experience aging issues of her own, his family feared he would need to move to an assisted living facility.
That would be a “death sentence,” according to his third cousin, Volma Overton Jr.
“We all knew that if you move Richard out of his home, he’d die,” Overton Jr. told ABC News. “That home is everything for him.”
Overton Jr. launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for around-the-clock in-home care. Since its launch in December, more than $121,000 has been raised.
This meant the veteran could stay in his home for another seven months.
“His front porch is a special place,” Volma Overton, 68,” told ABC News. “He always sits there and waves to people and everyone just comes by and talks to him.”
His wife, Shirley Overton, described the elder Overton as “very witty.”
“We wanted him to be able to stay where he knows and loves,” she said. “He still walks and talks and does everything. He’s so much fun to be around.”
Overton, who was born in Bastrop County in 1906, served in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945 as part of the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion. After the war, he returned to Austin, and he has lived in the same home ever since.
His 111th birthday is in May.
Volma Overton said the money raised was used to hire an in-home senior care provider. He estimates one year of coverage will cost around $180,000.