Family celebrates veteran's 98th birthday with drive-by parade

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - A Sherman World War II veteran turned 98 years old Wednesday, and dozens of cars lined the street to celebrate him while staying six feet away.

"I feel good considering everything, I feel good, the Lord's been with me," said 98-year-old Werner Dyer.

Dyer served in the Marine Corps in World War II.

Delores Fuchs met him through their bowling league about a year ago.

"From the time I knew this was his birthday I felt like our bowling league had to do something for him," Fuchs said.

So Fuchs organized a drive-by birthday, as a way to celebrate while staying far enough away to not put Dyer at risk of catching COVID-19.

"He's a wonderful man, and kind of like a second daddy," Fuchs said.

Dyer's great-nephew Ray Shields was over 1,200 miles away for work, but made the drive back to Sherman for his birthday.

"He smiled, he enjoyed this, this is something he never expected, that blew him away, that means more to me than any of it," Shields said.

"It feels good to have them around," Dyer said.

Dyer was a Baptist preacher and was married to his wife for almost 70 years before she passed away.

Born in 1922, he is also the oldest living member of the Dallas Baptist College.

"Serve the Lord, it's the best way in the world to live," Dyer said.

"He's my great, great uncle but he's the world to everybody, anybody who gets the opportunity to meet him, to be with him, just to spend a few minutes with him, he just touches their life in so many ways," Dyer's great-great niece, Samantha Minor said.

Dyer's family said they plan to celebrate with his favorite meal, as soon as the risk of getting sick is gone.

"He loves chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and gravy, if he had his way, that's all he would eat I think," Shields said.