CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- One local veteran has seen many birthdays, but Thursday night, he got to celebrate his 90th in a much different way.
At 90 years young, John Black Jr. got a brand new birthday experience.
Black is a Korean War veteran, former educator and college administrator, former basketball coach and founding member of the Phi Ki chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity incorporated.
“He is the only original living member still alive, healthy, comes to all the meetings and all the activities since 1956 of our fraternity.”
He’s still taking care of himself and driving, saying the key to life is helping young people and staying involved in their lives.
“A lot of my friends didn’t make it this far. I’ve always wondered about this. My father died when he was 40 years old and I was just 17. As I got older and older I wondered and I made it to 90.”
A trail of cars stretched through the parking lot of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, spilling onto North Little Texas Road, waiting to say happy birthday.
“It’s a blessing to still have a parent alive because I have a lot of friends that don’t have a momma or a daddy.”
The biggest piece of advice Black lives by and teaches is perseverance.
“Never give up in attaining your goals. Keep striving and education is key. He’s all about education for young people,” he said.
His family is now looking forward to his 100th birthday party.