American World War Two Veteran Celebrates 102nd Birthday

Floyd Simmons celebrated his 102nd birthday. He blew all the candles out in one breath which might be due to the years he spent singing baritone in the Monroe Spiritual Dynamics, a Southern gospel group from Monroe.

Celebrating with Simmons on Tuesday were family members, along with staff and residents of the Northeast Louisiana Veterans Home.

He was born in 1915 and doesn’t remember where he learned to sing. He still sings, though. He sang a gospel song at the party.

Simmons thinks that 102 doesn’t feel much different than 90 except he thinks that he sang better back then.

Mike Simmons, 80, attended the party. He is Floyd’s nephew. Mike said that the family is known for longevity. Floyd’s sister recently turned 100.

Staff and residents at the nursing home celebrate birthdays once a month. Everyone gets a gift and a card, no one is left out. There is cake, games, entertainment and refreshments.

Floyd’s celebration was a little more special. According to Christy Thompson, a nursing assistant who plans the recreational activities, there are many residents in their 80s and 90s but Floyd’s one of the few to live to over 100 at the center.

Floyd dressed up for the celebration in a caramel suit and peach hat.

Floyd spent time driving a school bus when he was younger. He served in the Army from April 18, 1941, to December 19, 1945. During World War II, he was based in the Philippines.

Mike considers his uncle to be like a second father. He still visits Floyd regularly, The News Star reported.

Entertainment for the party was Ted Telano who sang many old songs. Some of the residents danced while he sang.

When Telano sang “Sweet By and By,” Floyd joined in.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE