The oldest-known American World War I veteran—one of only three remaining—has died at age 109, the Toledo Blade reports. J. Russell Coffey, who enlisted in the Army a month before the war ended, was never comfortable with that recognition because he never saw combat. He preferred to be remembered for his accomplishments as a student, an athlete and a longtime educator.
The former Bowling Green State University professor died yesterday of heart failure at a nursing home in Ohio. He drove a car until age 103 and credited physical activity and a healthy diet for his longevity. Frank Buckles, 106, of West Virginia, and Harry Richard Landis, 108, of Florida, are the two remaining US WWI veterans. (Read more World War I stories.)