UPDATE: Southbound I-35 will experience rolling closures from SH 45 North to 11th Street for the funeral procession for Richard Overton beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

AUSTIN, Texas — Dozens of people paid their respects to Richard Overton Friday ahead of Saturday's funeral.

  • Community paid respects to Richard Overton
  • Died at the age of 112
  • Funeral is set for Saturday

The viewing was open to the public. Many people who showed up never met Richard Overton in their life.

"I wish I would met him in person, but to see him. I was able to tell him, 'Thank you for service in the military.' I'm glad he was part of history," Victor Muniz said.

Others  said they celebrated birthdays with him and sat on his porch, while he enjoyed his cigar.

"In 2010, I went over to visit with Mr. Overton and took some pictures with him on the porch and had the opportunity to chat with him for a little bit. Just so much history there. I would loved to have spent an hour or so with him," Larry Mercadel, a veteran said. "Just reminisce about the wars."

Overton was 112 years old when he passed away two days after Christmas. He was the oldest World War II veteran and the oldest man in the country.

The family is struggling with coming to terms with Overton's death, but the support of the Austin community and country have been overwhelming.

"All of this is unreal. It's amazing for the family to realize that the attention that Richard's passing has gotten," Volma Overton Jr. said. "He was loved all across this nation."

Overton's funeral is tomorrow at Shoreline Church off of Burnet Road at 11 a.m.