‘I still feel like a young man’: WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday

Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 5:05 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) - A Minnesota man turned 100 years old on Thursday and he celebrated with nearly 100 people, including the governor.

Gordy Kirk is a World War II veteran and a beloved member of the community.

Some say Thursday’s party was 100 years in the making.

“I still feel like a young man. I don’t feel like I’m 100,” Kirk said.

For 90 of his 100 years, Kirk has lived in St. Paul. After graduating high school he served in the Army during World War II, at a time when the military was still segregated.

“When I was over in Germany I thought, ‘If I get out of this, I’ll be happy.’ I was never thinking I would live to be 100,” Kirk said.

Kirk’s friends said they were happy to celebrate his special day with him.

“We want to thank God for putting him in our presence and allowing him to share this space with us,” Nathaniel Khaliq said.

Kirk’s friends said what makes him so special is his heart for others.

“He’s been that sounding board for many veterans not only in our community but throughout the state of Minnesota,” Khaliq said.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz also joined Thursday’s party to honor Kirk.

“I do hereby proclaim this Thursday, March 23, 2023, as Gordy Kirk Day across the state of Minnesota,” Walz said.

Kirk said his grandkids, great grandkids and great-great-grandkids were at his party while he remains looking toward the future.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a couple of more years, as long as the Lord will give them to me,” Kirk said.