Jim Webb says he has no secret to longevity, only the overwhelming support of a large family and many friends.
“I’m lucky to have a family like this,” Webb said at his 90th birthday party at the Auburn Eagles Aerie last Saturday. “I’ve lived a good life.”
About 100 family members and friends gathered at the hall to share stories, laughter, food and drink, and a big cake.
Born in a log cabin on Feb. 1, 1926 in Belfry, Mont., Webb was raised on a farm during the Depression. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46, assigned to the South Pacific fleet during World War II.
Webb lived in Auburn for more than 50 years. He worked at Boeing for 22 years, Smith Brothers Farms for 10 more. He also raised cattle and sold beef and milk from his farm. He and Betty, his wife of 63 years, raised nine children, eight of whom are living today.
He has 25 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren. Many of his immediate and extended family live in the Auburn area.
“He’s full of life and he’s so much fun,” said Nancy Church, Webb’s daughter. “He loves all of us kids and grand kids enormously. I wouldn’t want any other dad. He’s just special.”
Webb didn’t expect to be the focus of such a grand birthday bash.
“First thing I thought was, ‘This is not for me,’ ” he said. “It was a real surprise.”