MEDINA — World War II veteran and Medina County resident George Howard Lovelady celebrated his 100th birthday a day early Sunday at the Western Reserve Masonic Community in Medina.
Howard, who was born March 25, 1919, in Cambridge, was joined by his five children and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the celebration.
When asked how it felt to celebrate his 100th birthday, Lovelady smiled and said, “just another day.”
In addition to good genes, Lovelady credits his late wife, Marjorie, for his longevity.
“I had a wonderful wife for 72 years; we shared everything,” he said.
Oldest son David Lovelady said it is great to be able celebrate this special milestone with his father.
“It is just kind of unbelievable,” he said during the party. “When we were getting the party together, dad said this is going to be like a family reunion.
David said about 60 family members were in attendance Sunday, coming from as far away as Michigan, Illinois, Florida and Colorado.
“It is quite a milestone,” he said. “We are just blessed that he is still with us.”
Daughter Lane Trego echoed her older brother’s sentiments.
“We are very blessed for sure; there is so much to say about him,” Trego said. “We just lost our mother (last) April and he has really hung in there and had a will to live even after she was gone.”
Daughter-in-law Peggy Lovelady said her father-in-law is the kind of man who everyone wishes they had for a grandfather.
“I lost my parents really young, so he has kind of been like my dad,” she said.
After graduating from Cambridge High School in 1937, and Muskingum University in New Concord in 1941, Lovelady joined the Army Air Corps on Feb. 22, 1942, in Columbus.
According to a release from Medina County Veterans Services, Lovelady was a part of the first group to serve with the 306th Air Wing, and participated in the following military campaigns and battles: Air Offense-Europe, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and central Europe.
He attained the rank of master sergeant before receiving his military discharge Oct. 9, 1945. Lovelady’s awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit citation, European African Middle East Service Medal and six Bronze Stars.
Lovelady and Marjorie married in November 1945, and together had five children, 15 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. He retired in 1979 after working 33 years for Standard Oil Co. of Ohio and British Petroleum of Ohio Co. Lovelady is a resident of the Western Reserve Masonic Community.