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World War II veteran celebrating his 100th birthday

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Friends and family gathered at the Dearborn Christian Church to celebrate Searcy's 100th birthday.

(DEARBORN, Mo.) World War II veteran Harold Searcy celebrated his biggest birthday of the century.

Friends and family gathered at the Dearborn Christian Church to celebrate Searcy's 100th birthday.

Harold Searcy says the key to a long life is the people you surround yourself with.

“Good friends and neighbors and family is a must for a successful life and for a happy life. Not only just to have a life, but to have a happy life. And of course they always said to have good neighbors, you gotta be a good neighbor too,” Searcy says.

Searcy’s motto is to appreciate the journey and live in the moment instead of worrying about the destination.

“I think his longevity is attributed to his, the positive attitude that he has, you know, he's just always taking things in stride. He's where he's supposed to be when he's supposed to be there,” Harold’s niece Barbara Farris says.

“Everywhere we go, pictures, pictures, pictures, he would take pictures. And it gets to the point, you know, the kids say, ‘come on, Dad, come on, let us go let us go.’ But he's making memories. And that was him. Just making memories,” Harold’s daughter Jody Brown says.

Aviation has always been a huge part of Searcys life serving as a pilot in the Navy during World War II, as well as working for TWA for 30 years.

“He had an Honor Flight about a year ago. And I was there for it. It was very emotional. But I think the best is when he was climbing up into the plane, he asked the pilot he said ‘can I fly it one more time.’ And the pilot says ‘buddy, I think I better take over again.’ But it was an emotional flight too because they asked him where he would like to fly over the plane where they would like to, you know, cover and he picked his farm and home and he asked him for the coop both at the different cemetery because he had buried his son about a month before,” Harold’s niece Gloria Resler says. 

Searcy’s family says he knows no stranger and with the Dearborn community showing up for Searcy’s birthday celebration, it's clear that he's leaving a huge legacy.

“I think just being an honest person and you know, be active in your church and other things. He coached some of our baseball teams when we were kids, you know, but he grew up in, you know, taking care of kids and you know, making sure we did things right. And enjoy doing it, you know, so and I think that's what a lot of people were remembering, you know by,” Harold’s son Terry Searcy says.

“Make the most of life because it's a journey. Don't worry about getting the station at the end of the line, because it'll come soon enough. But enjoy what's in between,” Harold says. 

Searcy will celebrate his 100th birthday on Tuesday.


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