On Friday, retired Master Sgt. Edward Johnson celebrated a milestone not many get to experience. On that day, the World War II veteran celebrated his 100th birthday.
With a crown on his head and a beaming smile, Johnson celebrated his 100th trip around the sun from his nursing home in Springfield, Florida. “It only happens once every 100 years,” he said of the day’s celebration. “The Lord’s been mighty good to me, I’d say.”
While the day will be one he’ll never forget, Johnson says his favorite memory is from the 26 years he spent in the Air Force. While stationed in Vienna, Austria, he sent his late wife $900 and a message for her to visit him. Later, he and his wife were married.
Johnson and his wife, Jane Poston-Johnson, were married 66 years before she passed away in 2018 at 88. During their marriage, they raised three children in the Panama City, Fla. area.
World War II Veteran Celebrates Major Milestone
Johnson, originally from Ozark, Alabama, joined the United States Army Air Corps in 1940. Since then, he spent his life traveling worldwide with the military. In the last few years, he’s been spending his time at the nursing home.
“He’s been here at Sims for just over five years, (and) all these people out here mean a lot to him,” his son, Mike Johnson, said, who was one of the many attendees at his father’s birthday. “It’s just great to have people outside, enjoying a party like this. I know dad has looked forward to this for a long time.”
Cindy Ray, the nurse for Johnson’s unit, said that Johnson leaves her with two quotes every day. She asks how he is doing, and he responds with”60 percent.” She then asks if he needs anything, and he hilariously quips back with “cash.”
Ray described Johnson as “awesome,” “polite,” and “intelligent.” She added that she and her coworkers refer to him as “Sir Edward,” a nickname he gave himself.
Ray said of her patient and friend, “You don’t see very many people getting to 100 and it’s very exciting. Every day he was worried that he wouldn’t get here, but he did.” And he don’t look 100, that’s for sure.”