Attleboro's Oldest Veteran Dies at 104
Sgt. Maj. Irene Davey joined the U.S. Army in 1943.
ATTLEBORO, MA -- The oldest veteran in Massachusetts died Sunday morning at age 104, The Sun Chronicle reported. Irene Davey, who served in the U.S. Army at Fort Devens during World War II, received an honorary promotion to sergeant major earlier this year during a ceremony outside her South Attleboro home.
Davey joined the U.S. Army in March 1943 on the same day as her husband Harold. She served until 1945 in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, assigned to motor transport. Davey trained other women in driving rugged trucks and taking care of vehicle maintenance. She also made deliveries and took injured soldiers home in ambulances. In addition, Davey traveled to various places as a recruiter.
"I was proud," Davey told Attleboro Patch in 2010. "I could not help but be proud of what I had done."
She attributed her longevity to staying active as well as having common sense and a good sense of humor.
"I just gave up my driver's license a few years ago when I was 99 [because] I didn't want to be paying the insurance anymore," she joked to Patch.
Davey kept active by cleaning, cooking and going out in the yard.
"The day you sit down ... well, that's when you end up doing nothing," she said.
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During the ceremony outside her home in May that was organized by state Rep. George Ross, Davey was recognized for her service by the National Guard as well as local, state, national and veterans officials. In addition to the honorary promotion, she received a key to the city from Mayor Kevin Dumas.
"In all my lifetime, the only thing I wanted to do was make my family proud of me," Davey said. "Today ... I think I've made it."