Herman Billnitzer is celebrating his 99th birthday on Oct. 31.
The World War II veteran was a combat medic with the U.S. Marines for more than three years in the Pacific theater. After the war, he returned to Texas and was a science teacher and coach for 40 years at Tivy High School in Kerrville. During that time, he made 110 trips to a Lutheran mission station in Eagle Pass, continuing the mission trips until he was well into his 80s, according to his daughter.
Herman was the sixth of 10 children raised in Jourdanton, Texas.
“He’s had a life of service and helping others,” said his daughter, Cheryl. “I’m just extremely proud of him.”
Billnitzer attends church at Our Merciful Saviour Episcopal Church in Kaufman, where members of the church celebrated his birthday Sunday with cake and ice cream. The church will honor Billnitzer, other veterans, police officers, firefighters and first responders at the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, Nov. 10.