Celebrating a century: WWII veteran turns 100 years old

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There were lots of hugs -- and candles -- as a World War II veteran living in the Jacksonville area celebrated 100 years of life Tuesday.

As he celebrated the milestone, Herman Jones wore a hat that read: “100 never looked so good.”

“I feel good. Feel like I’m a hundred,” Jones said.

Marica Sayer and Hilda Hand, Jones’ daughters, told News4JAX that the Navy airman spent a lot of time with them growing up.

“Played badminton with us, he played all games with us, he just always had time for us. Took us swimming every weekend to Cecil Field,” Hand recalled.

“Took us to Disney the summer after it opened. We spent three days there, two nights at the Contemporary. He saved up for that,” Sayer said. “Just wonderful memories.”

And now, at 100, he’s living with one of his daughters.

“I’ve been very blessed to have him in my house, and day after day he just does new things,” Hand said.

Like gardening, she said, her dad stays busy growing vegetables in his garden.

As for making it to the century mark?

“I think it’s amazing,” Sayer said. “And I think the gardening has helped him reach that goal because he’s still out there every day.”

We asked if there were any quirks about Jones we might be surprised to know. His daughters said every time he took them to a theme park, he would ride every roller coaster once and then never again.

And when he would go shopping with them, he always carried their purses.

About the Author:

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.