WWII veteran in central Florida celebrates 100th birthday

Family and friends of Thomas Utsey gathered Saturday to celebrate the veteran's 100th birthday.

Memories of the World War II veteran were on display at the party in Hunter's Creek.

"Flew 55 combat missions over North Africa. I enjoyed my time in the service," said Utsey, as he enjoyed his cake.

"He is one of the last remaining B25 fighter pilots probably alive from World War II," said his daughter Lisa Utsey.

He went on to fly for a commercial airline for three decades and now lives in assisted living.

"I don't feel like I'm a 100. I feel good, so that's a plus," he said.

So, what's his secret to living to 100?

"Lots of good lovin'!" he said with a laugh. "Good ancestry, strong constitution."

His daughter said he always puts his health first.

"He used to say your health is your greatest asset and your greatest gift, and you have to take care of it," she said.

She said it was a motto he took very seriously.

"He ran five miles, three times a week well into his 60s. He ate very healthy foods. He had his own garden that he grew all of his own vegetables," she said.

So, how can you live to 100?

"They need to be imbued with good genes, first off. Nature kind of takes care of it for you," he said.