Local World War II veteran E.O. “June” Roberts reached his 100th birthday last week.
Roberts, of Magazine, celebrated the milestone with the staff of Oak Manor Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center and scores of family and scores of well wishers during a party on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 23.
The party, with a movie theme, was not a surprise for Roberts, according to family members.
Most family members now located in the area were in attendance for the party, including a nephew from California.
Asked how one gets to be 100 years young, Roberts responded, “dipping good snuff.”
Roberts also said he feels a lot like Minnie Pearl, “I’m just to glad to be here.”
Roberts has been at the nursing home for almost a year. He first stayed at the facility while rehabilitating after surgery for an injured hip and after returning to his home in Magazine, decided he would rather be at the home.
Family members said Roberts is treated really well and he feels like he has a home there.
A 76-year member of the Mize-Murphy American Legion Post 109 in Magazine, Roberts spent three and a half years as a prisoner of war in World War II, surviving despite cruel and unusual treatment he has detailed multiple times for stories that have appeared in the Booneville Democrat.
The horrors Roberts describes range from malnutrition causing men to squabble over undigested grain found in horse dung to “death marches” to beheadings of fellow soldiers.
After returning to Magazine, Roberts married a war widow, his late wife Glenda, and together they raised her daughter and three sons in Magazine where he continued to live until last year.