BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio — On May 4, JC May turned 100 years old. The World War II veteran has lived quite a life and on Saturday, family, friends and fellow veterans gathered for a birthday party to celebrate his centurial milestone.
May, who was born in Mississippi on May, 4 1922, was drafted into the United States Army. After serving in World War II and experiencing life overseas, May was discharged and returned to the U.S., deciding to pack his bags and travel north to start a new chapter of his life in Cleveland, Ohio.
After moving to Cleveland, May began working at General Motors and spent nearly 40 years at the company, spending his days as a hard worker but also making plenty of time to enjoy himself and his family.
“My uncle is just a very strong, self-assured man,” said May's niece Delia Mallory. “He’s always around to give us good advice and to tell you a joke and he has a quick wit.”
The years not slowing May down in the least.
“As a matter of fact he is still driving to this day, 100 years old and he is still driving," Mallory said.
A life that spans 100 years is one to be celebrated, and that's what his loved ones did on Saturday, holding a party at the Mediterranean Event Center in Bedford Heights.
“We are excited to be here for his 100th birthday party celebration," Mallory said. “He was just 100 on May 4, just 100 years young.”
Family and friends from all over filled the event center Saturday, bringing gifts—but more importantly, bringing plenty of love.
“I ain’t seen some of these people in so long," May said.
The party was attended by some special guests, including Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, who was in attendance to wish May a very happy birthday.
Of course, some of May's fellow veterans came to the celebration as well, gifting him with an American flag to thank him for his service and honor his dedicated legacy.
The Department of Ohio Disabled American Veterans even brought birthday cards from all over the country and from local students who wanted to make May feel special on his big day.
“We’ve gotten cards and letters from all over the country, even as far away as Alaska," said Ginger MacCutcheon, Department of Ohio Disabled American Veterans Chaplain. “And then I have cards and letters from the students in both the Norton Elementary School and the Norton High School.”
Saturday was a milestone for May, but also a day that his family took to reflect on the opportunity to have so many great years with their loved one.
“We‘re grateful to still have him around,” Mallory said. “Just a fun-loving guy, hard-working guy."
Others took away some lessons from May's birthday party.
“I think just that anybody who sees this should realize what a milestone, it's amazing the things that he has seen come and go and he’s still able to tell about it and goes about his daily things—driving the car, going to the barbershop," MacCutcheon said. “So next time I’m feeling tired I am going to remember that Mr. May at 100 years old does all of these things and I should be quiet.”
As for May, the term 100 years young truly does suit him.
“I’m doing pretty good, I can’t complain," May said.
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