Home » Happy Birthday, Pappy! Houston neighborhood surprises oldest living Marine in Texas with parade on his 99th birthday
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Happy Birthday, Pappy! Houston neighborhood surprises oldest living Marine in Texas with parade on his 99th birthday

Joseph Colwell was born August 7, 1921. He served within the U.S. Marine Corps throughout World Conflict II. He workouts, drives a Mustang and is liked by so many individuals.

HOUSTON — In a time the place we’re calculating danger by counting lack of life, cussed Joseph Colwell is proof each single warning is value taking if it will probably result in only one extra day with these we love.

“He’s an exquisite, great, great man,” mentioned Mendi Strnadel of Colwell.

The 2 dwell only a few homes from one another. They grew to become quick pals when Strnadel moved in to their northwest Houston neighborhood 5 years in the past.

“He nonetheless pokes round a bit of bit on Nextdoor, so I needed to inform everyone within the neighborhood: completely no posting. It must be word-of-mouth. You can’t publish on Nextdoor,” mentioned Strnadel of the shock birthday parade she and Colwell’s daughter, Nancy Lawrence, started planning in June.

“To see him in motion, you wouldn’t imagine that he’s 99,” mentioned Lawrence of her father who nonetheless drives his Ford Mustang to the gymnasium to train recurrently. He grocery outlets, sits on his entrance porch and visits with neighbors and flies a U.S. Marine Corps flag on his property.

“He doesn’t speak about his service a lot,” Lawrence mentioned. “He claims that he’s the oldest dwelling Marine in Texas.”

Colwell’s quietly served his nation for many of his life. He enlisted within the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942, fought within the Pacific throughout World Conflict II and returned dwelling and married Francis. The 2 liked one another for 62 years earlier than she handed away. The navy veteran grew to become a police officer, then a firefighter, then labored and retired from the U.S. Postal Service. The die-hard Astros fan discovered to fly in his early 90s.

“You’re going to be stunned how many individuals are right here,” mentioned Lawrence of the neighbors, family and friends who would embellish their autos for the parade at midday on Friday.

“When my mother handed away, he was in awe of all of the automobiles that have been behind us within the procession. I would like him to have this earlier than he passes away. I would like him to know the way many individuals love him,” Lawrence mentioned.

The parade lasted about 30 minutes. There have been that many automobiles. Harris County Precinct four deputy constables blared their sirens and turned on their lights as they led dozens of well-wishers previous Colwell’s dwelling.

The 99-year outdated sat in a chair, underneath a tent, in his driveway. He didn’t break a sweat on the recent August day.

The Cy-Truthful Hearth Division’s emergency autos added extra shade to the caravan.

From households on bikes to some cruising in a 93-year-old basic automobile, to households packed into adorned vans, Colwell waved to all of them.

Greater than a dozen navy veterans motorcyclists revved their engines earlier than stopping to salute the American hero.

“I hope that folks take a look at and smile and suppose, that’s nice,” Lawrence mentioned. “This man is 99 years outdated.”

A daredevil who nonetheless has a lot life in him that the celebration wraps across the block.

“I can’t imagine this. I can’t imagine this,” mentioned Cowell as he thanked his pals. “It’s overwhelming.”

Colwell’s neighbors shared this story with KHOU 11 Reporter Melissa Correa as a result of she’s utilizing Nextdoor to seek out uplifting tales. To attach with Melissa on Nextdoor, click on right here.


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