Dallas, TX--A true-blue American hero is about to celebrate a milestone!
On October 11, Mr. Joe Kreideweis will turn 100, and his family is planning a spectacular celebration of his life at Highland Springs retirement community where he lives.
The celebration of Joe's 100th birthday will take place on Sunday, October 11 from 4pm-7pm at Highland Springs, located at 8000 Frankford Road, Dallas, TX 75252.
Here's a brief summary of a full life:
Growing up in New Jersey, Joe was the third son of eleven children. He loved sports, and baseball was his passion. As a semi-pro, he played against legends Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Josh Gibson's barnstorming All-Stars.
In fact, he was offered a contract by the New York Yankees in 1938 to play shortstop with their Southern Association affiliate. But, he set aside that golden opportunity due to a sense of mission to his family. He kept his job at Fisher Silversmiths in Jersey City to help with the family finances during the uncertain times of the Great Depression.
December 7, 1941 changed the course of the nation, and Joe answered the call of duty again. He enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve his country. Ironically, his wife, Betty informed him that she was pregnant, and Joe got a deferment until December 11, 1942, five months after the birth of his first son, John.
As a PFC in the 29th Division, 116th Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Company B, Joe landed on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion. He went over the side of his landing craft to avoid the fierce German firing on the front ramp of the vessel.
The remnants of his unit fought their way through the Hedgerows, the Breakout at St. Lo, the capture of Vire, the siege of Brest, bypassed Paris in pursuit of Germans heading towards Holland, and had their first shower in four months in a coal mine in Heerlen, Holland.
In combat across the border in Aachen, Germany, Joe was awarded the Bronze Star for maintaining communication lines in the face of withering enemy fire. Aachen was the first city taken by U.S. troops in Germany. It was followed by the capture of Julich, the Battle of The Hurtgen Forest, the capture of Munchen-Gladbach, the crossing of the Rhine River, the march to the Elbe River, and the link-up with the Russians.
Incredibly, Joe had survived some of the fiercest fighting in the European Theater of World War II. He returned stateside in October, 1945 to his beloved family in New Jersey. Betty and Joe would have a daughter, Nancy, and, he eventually began a 21-year career with Electrolux.
John and Nancy would give their parents five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. In 2007 following the passing of Betty, Joe moved to Highland Springs in Dallas. As the saying goes, "Joe wasn't born in Texas, but he got here as fast as he could."
At Highland Springs, Joe has made many friends and inspires others with his commitment to health and wellness. He is a true "workout warrior" in the community's fitness center and loves to dance.