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Bella Vista World War II Veteran turns 100 years old

Charles Whitford is a World War II Veteran who served in the Pacific. Today, he received a letter from President Biden wishing him a Happy Birthday.

BELLA VISTA, Ark. — Charles Whitford served in the army during World War II from 1943-1945 and after the war, he went home to the states and his passion for teaching grew…

“I taught music for a long time and I had some good kids and some others who were not quite so good…but it was fun,” Whitford recalled.

He’s lived at the plaza retirement home in Bella Vista for the last 18 years. His Brother also served in WWII and stayed at the retirement with him until he passed. Today Whitford says he’s blessed to have fellow residents to call his friends.

“Charlie is our resident extraordinaire, every now and then he’ll come through and plays all kinds of flutes…so he’ll practice his flutes. He is delightful, he’s always got good stories, and he plays pool every Monday morning and he beats just about everybody he plays with,” Marlene Doran said.

Charlie is not your average 100-year-old, he still drives and is very active, and in his free time, he studies astronomy and enjoys playing his Indian flute. One plaza resident says the moment she met Charlie…she knew she had a lifelong friend.

“And so, I met him right away, the first thing he did is he gives you a high five…and he did that with me, and I said that’s not the way to bump and I bumped him this way and he almost fell down. So that’s how I met Charlie,” said Jean Olsen.

Residents call him the plaza’s mascot because he has a lot of energy and makes every feel welcome.

“He invites everybody up to come to see the moon on his balcony…he has a brand-new telescope and He’s called me up several times when the moon is out sometimes at 12 o’clock at night and that’s a little late for me Charlie,” Olsen said.

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