William J. Ely, a 105-year old Delray Beach resident, said there are three reasons he has lived so long: good luck, good genes, and the love and caring of his wife, Helen, to whom he was married for 70 years before her death in 2014.
Ely, believed to be the oldest living graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, was honored by the Palm Beach County Commission on Tuesday.
Commissioner Steve Abrams, whose district includes Delray Beach, presented Ely with a proclamation honoring his 33 years of service in the Army, including service in the Pacific during World War II.
Ely earned an Army Distinguished Service Medal, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and two Legions of Merit.
After receiving his proclamation, those attending the commission meeting gave Ely a sustained standing ovation.
(Eliot Kleinberg/The Palm Beach Post)