MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A WWII veteran celebrated his 101st birthday with friends and neighbors as a parade of cars circled the Brightwater Retirement Community on Sunday.
Lt. Colonel Jim Kendrick was a 1940’s Citadel graduate, a bomber pilot flying B-52’s, and an active member of the Rotary Club of Myrtle Beach.
The Rotary Club threw a drive-by, socially distanced celebration where rotary members, friends, and neighbors packed the streets and entrance.
“When you think of Jim you think of character, honesty, integrity, he’s just a great great man,”
Don Hovis, president of Rotary Myrtle Beach said.
Kendrick’s accomplishments and admirable qualities are evident though the birthday signs waving special messages and birthday chants from the crowd.
“He’s always a gentleman and he’s got a smile for everybody,” Dell Little, Kendrick’s friend said.
Kendrick is currently a loyal member of the Rotary Club and never misses a weekly meeting, according to Hovis.
“We all love him and are so happy, we will probably get more out of this than he will,” Hovis said.
While a close gathering may have to wait, neighbors and friends made sure the big occasion got the celebration it deserved.
“To him I’d say, kick up your heels and have fun,” Little, said.
The Lt. Colonel said it was another unforgettable birthday.
“I appreciate everything everyone has done for me and I will never be able to repay them.”
Following the parade, the celebration extended as Kendrick’s family sent a video wishing him a happy birthday. Sea Captains restaurant catered dinner to WWII veteran.