Local World War II Veteran Celebrates 102nd Birthday

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Major Wooten was born in 1916 in Cullman, Alabama. He was one of 12 children.

December 3 was his 102nd birthday, and his family and friends helped him celebrate Saturday afternoon.

Wooten has lived through tons of U.S. history including the Great Depression.

He reminisced on his family's experience during that period.

"Cotton was going for 21-cents a pound at the time," Wooten said. "We gathered thirty bales of cotton." We took 2 and 3 cents a pound for it. We lost. I think I was the only one that got a pair of shoes out of it."

But Wooten said he's glad America got to see better days.

His family and friends decorated the gym of the Mount Zion Baptist Church with lots of old photos.

Wooten said he couldn't have asked for a better birthday, and he's very excited to go abroad next year.

"I'm looking forward to going with the Forever Young group to Europe next year," he stated. "That's where I served in Europe."

No birthday party is complete without a cake. His cake was decorated with a vibrant fondant American Flag.

Etched on the flag: Happy 102nd birthday, Pop Pop.

Lettermen of the USA presented Wooten with a football autographed by former Alabama and retired NFL player Bobby Humphrey. The organization also presented Wooten with a hard hat signed by former Crimson Tide head coach Gene Stallings.

Major Wooten lives in Huntsville with his daughter-in-law but is still of sound mind and body.

Judy Wooten, Major's daughter-in-law, said he was completely different when they first arrived in Huntsville.

"When we lived in Birmingham he never talked," she said. 'I never really knew that much about him. Now that we're roommates, we just have a good time together."

She credits different community programs like Forever Young Senior Veterans for helping Wooten break out of his shell.

"Now his social calendar is so full I cant keep up with him," she explained.