FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A local World War II veteran celebrated his 100th birthday, a day early, at Messiah Lutheran Church on Sunday morning.
“I don’t know why I lived to be 100, I don’t know, there must be some purpose,” said Don Theurer. “I’m very fortunate to have good physical health. I drive a car. My driver’s license is good until I’m 103. So everything being as it will, I look forward to maybe driving at 103.”
Theurer was born on April 26, 1921 in Jay County, Indiana.
His son traveled from Virginia to celebrate his father on Sunday. At the conclusion of the church service, Pastor Tim Graham, Theurer’s friend and fellow veteran, Walt Strasser and Max Roberson from Honor Flight all shared kind words for Theurer.
“He’s been a great honor to be around,” said Strasser. “One of the reasons is he’s been so active in our church and a definite leader, as far as his actions in his life. He served his country. He was a faithful father and grandfather and great grandfather, really a good example.”
Theurer served in WWII, landing on Normandy Beach two weeks after the D-Day invasion, and he spent the remainder of the war in Europe. His service to the United States holds a special place in his heart.
“When people ask me about the war, my normal response is that it was our duty. It had to be done,” said Theurer. “I think one of the special moments was landing on beaches in Normandy.
He married after the war. He finished his career at Magnavox in Fort Wayne and at age, 100, he’s now been retired longer than he worked.
For Theurer’s birthday gift, Messiah Lutheran Church will donate $1,000 to the organization of his choice.