WWII veteran celebrates 100

October 1, 2018 | 3:00 am

Updated October 1, 2018 | 11:44 pm

Photo submitted to Owensboro Times.

As of tomorrow, J.T. O’Bryan will have lived a full century on this earth.

O’Bryan graduated from the first West Louisville High School in 1937, where he was a part of the Glee Club.

He served as an Army Infantry T-Corporal, traveling to both Africa and Italy. Concerning his Army service, O’Bryan said he “enjoyed every minute of it.”

Although he studied bookkeeping at Lockyear Business College in Indiana, O’Bryan held many jobs that required manual labor.


He worked on the family dairy farm, raised tobacco, corn and beans, worked at Cigar Factory Mall and retired from the Daviess County Public School system as a night custodian for Apollo High School.

O’Bryan also mowed yards on the side until he was 92 years old when he said he “fell over, broke my arm and got fired.”

His daughter Sharon, number six of the eight O’Bryan children, recalls days her father would work the night shift at the high school, sleep in the parking lot and then mow yards.

“We mowed all the drive-ins too,” O’Bryan said.

Of all the accomplishments O’Bryan has to his credit, the one he is most proud of is his family —  68 years of marriage, 8 children (7 living), 18 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

All eight children were home for a celebratory breakfast at St. Alphonsus on Sunday morning, along with over 100 friends and family members. O’Bryan then visited the VFW where he received a standing ovation.

Earlier this week, Sharon put out a request with local news outlets for people to send 100 birthday cards to her father for his birthday. At last count, O’Bryan had received 244 cards.

Sharon moved into her parents’ house five years ago to care for her mother for three years before she died. Sharon is now the primary caretaker for her father.

“I don’t know what I would have done without you,” O’Bryan said, looking at his daughter.

Just days from turning 100, O’Bryan’s wit was still very much intact.

“Well, I came into this world wearing diapers,” O’Bryan said. “I’m going to go out wearing diapers.”


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show, O’Bryan’s picture will be featured on the famous Smucker’s jar in celebration of his 100 years.

October 1, 2018 | 3:00 am

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