COLUMBUS, Neb. – George Greenawalt has lived over one century, through two world wars, a stock market crash, 19 presidents, and on Thursday, the Columbus resident celebrated his 107th birthday.
“I never thought about age, so I don’t know why people worry about age,” says Greenawalt.
Greenawalt was joined by his daughter and grandchildren, along with dozens of friends at Mory’s Haven in Columbus for the birthday party. His grandson Rex Freeman expressed his gratitude that he got the chance to get closer to his grandpa, as he himself grew older.
“How many people at age 62, can say their grandpa is still there,” says Freeman.
Greenawalt was born and raised in Michigan, where he lived until he was 20, moving to South Bend, Indiana where he raised his own family and worked as an accountant and treasurer for a construction company.
In the 1990’s he moved to Columbus, to be closer with members of his family.
“My family has been 100 percent behind me through everything, because there wasn’t much to be behind me for,” says Greenawalt.
One benefit of living so long was Greenawalt has enjoyed a long retirement, wrapping up his career in 1972. He has spent much of his time traveling, going to 49 states and some of Europe. But, when asked about his favorite vacation, he thinks back to a road-trip he took with his father to the Rocky Mountains.
“In 1927 in a new model-T and we took five days to get to my uncle’s place in Denver,” says Greenawalt.
Freeman couldn’t think of one particular memory as his favorite with his grandpa George, but he says himself, along with other members of his family, would agree on one thing.
“I honestly don’t have a bad memory of my grandfather and I can probably say that for all of us,” says Freeman. “He’s just a special part of our life, he’s a good man, he’s kind, he’s gentle.
The 107-year-old says he has lived a full-life and suggests to others, to not worry about age.
“You’re going to die sometime, and you’re not going to know when, so just take it as it comes,” says Greenawalt.