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Col. Lee James '36 Turns 106

Scot Walker '90 January 6, 2020 8:54 AM updated: January 6, 2020 9:23 AM

Photo from CBS 11 News/CBSDFW.com
Photo from CBS 11 News/CBSDFW.com

Col. Lee James '36 of Mesquite, the oldest known living former student of Texas A&M, turned 106 years old on Jan. 2, and friends and family threw him a party to celebrate.

A CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth reported on the party and interviewed James. He recounted his travels across Asia during World War II. He also offered his advice for longevity — eating healthy, practicing moderation in all things and keeping an active mind. In the video, he recites lines from one of his favorite poems, "The Death of the Flowers" by William Cullen Bryant.

Watch the full video here.

James received a bachelor's in agriculture and a master's in biology from A&M, where he was also a Ross Volunteer. He is a 33-year member of The Association of Former Students' Century Club.

After James, the oldest living Aggie is Col. George Baram '37 of California, who turned 105 in May 2019. He was a cadet at A&M and received a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering.

William D. "Bill" McMahon '40 of Longview, Texas, celebrated his 104th birthday in September 2019. Like Col. Baram, he was in the Corps and received a bachelor's in petroleum engineering.

The oldest living female former student we know of is Marietta Gaffney Die '68 of Cedar Park, Texas, who turned 102 in November 2019. She received a master's degree in education from A&M and has an Aggie legacy stretching through her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We did a story in January of 2018 when, at the age of 100, she received her first Aggie Ring. You can read it here.

Some records in The Association's database do not include birth dates. If you have information about other former students who may be among the oldest living Aggies, please email The Association at AggieNetwork@AggieNetwork.com

Your donations allow The Association of Former Students to collect and share news about Aggies with the worldwide Aggie Network. Thank you! You can make a gift of any amount at tx.ag/give.



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