SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Plans for a big birthday party are in full swing, as a World War II veteran turns 100 years young later this month. Like so many of our greatest generation, John Varney downplays the courage and bravery he embodied in serving his country. Now as he nears the century mark, friends and family are honoring him and a life well lived.
Mr. Varney is a character, and a gentleman. Dawn Turner, the activities coordinator at Springfield Nursing and Assisted Living, says he’s “One of the nicest people I’ve ever known.”
Mr. Varney will turn 100 years young on August 31, and says his daughter, 2 granddaughters, and friends are what make the Miami Valley special. He says, “My family? Nice. Easy sometimes in forgiving me.”
In 1944 Mr. Varney joined the army and served during World War II, earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Gerald Cox is with Springfield Nursing and Assisted Living and says, “I think that speaks very highly of the kind of person that he is. And it was no big deal to him. ‘It’s just what I do.'”
Dawn Turner’s plans on making the one-hundredth birthday party a big one: “I think John will be a little embarrassed perhaps, that that much attention is being put on him, but deservingly so I think. He’s just a good guy.” She has a few surprises in store, but Mr. Varney already has some fans in high places; he received a birthday recognition from Governor Kasich.
Dawn says, “I’m just grateful to have known somebody like John, really. I admire him so.”