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Native ETX veteran celebrates 107th birthday


POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 9:37am

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 9:44am

If you wanted to count the candles on East Texan Elmer Hill's  birthday cake, you'd be a while. He has 107 of them!

The World War II veteran was honored by folks at Emeritus Assisted Living in Henderson Tuesday.

Hill was all smiles while the tune of all too familiar lyrics were sang-- "Happy birthday to you!"

Friends and family gathered at the center to celebrate their love for him, including his daughter, Aubrey Young, who was thankful to have her father.

"We do realize God has shown favor on him," said Young. "Word just cannot explain how we feel, because in no way, shape, form or fashion, we'd ever though we'd be able to witness this."

In his lifetime, the former Navy man fought in World War II, and for him, the memories are still vivid.

"I was on a ship on a carrier and we had 30 planes on the carrier," Hill recalled. "When there was a problem, they would take the plane and meet with the enemy."

Young tells us her father's mind-- now-a-days --is outworking his body, but he continues to stay active. However, the vet will tell you with a hearty laugh that he spends his time "eating and sleeping."

Elmer Hill is the proud father of two children and five grandchildren. He was born and raised in Henderson, which made it the perfect place to celebrate his life.

And his daughter will continue to count her blessings with each passing year.

"We were blessed to have him lead us, and guide us and direct us," said Young. "All of his friends, and the students he has taught. The lives he has touched throughout the years. That gives him purpose and reason to live."

Hill was also a teacher and principal at what was originally known as Henderson Colored High. The school was later renamed after him in 1965 and is now known as “E.E. Hill High School.”

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