ROSEVILLE, Calif. — World War II veteran Richard Cheevers achieved a major milestone Tuesday, celebrating his 105th birthday!
Cheevers was born on Aug. 9, 1917 in Lovington, Illinois. His mother was a stay-at-home mom, and his father was a cobbler. He has two brothers and one sister.
Cheevers was always an active man, playing sports like basketball and football in high school.
In 1937, Cheevers joined the Air Force after not being able to find work at the time during the Great Depression. He served as an Aircraft Mechanic for 30 years, and throughout his 30 years in the Air Force, Cheevers was stationed in France and England.
Cheevers mentioned how the planes he used to fly for the Air Force had reciprocating engines or gas engines. Nowadays, they use fighter jets.
In 1940, Cheevers met his wife, Betty Cook, at a "beer joint," married her and they later had three kids.
After 57 years of marriage, Betty passed away in 1997. Cheevers then moved from Saint Petersburg, Florida, where he worked with Westinghouse doing solar system maintenance for 11 years, to Rocklin, California to live with his oldest daughter and son-in-law.
Cheevers traveled and enjoyed spending time with his family once he was fully retired. Cheevers now has three granddaughters, three great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Cheevers celebrated his birthday with friends and family surrounded by balloons and, of course, cake. Cheevers stays at Sterling Court Assisted Living Care in Roseville and even the staff members got together to celebrate.
Nurse Paulette Perfumo told ABC10 Cheevers requested Kentucky Fried Chicken as his birthday meal, with a special request for the dark meat of the chicken, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. His birthday wish came true, three buckets of KFC later.
Everyone raved about Cheevers's sense of humor, his love for his family and how good of a friend he is.
"Richard's been a friend of mine for about five years now," said Susan Baldridge. "We get to play word search games, so it helps us with kind of getting our brain working every day."
Cheevers spilled on what his secret to living a long life was.
"One thing I did differently was I took long walks - every day, religiously," Cheevers said.
Cheevers and family members said he's not going anywhere and will be celebrating his 106th birthday in no time.
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