Story and photo by Van Mitchell, Staff Writer

Charlie McGregor was born on May 3, 1919 and turns 105-years-old in early this month. McGregor is a veteran and served more than four years stationed in Marseilles, France.

Faith has played a major role in Charlie McGregor’s life including several life-changing events that impacted him and his family.
Born on May 3, 1919, McGregor grew up in the small town of South Haven, Kansas, located 50 miles south of Wichita.
After graduating high school, he and his late wife Millie married before McGregor was drafted into the United States Army in World War II.
“My wife and I were going together, and we discussed whether we should get married now or wait until after the war? We decided to get married before the war in 1941,” he said.
McGregor served four years, four months, and four days in the war and was stationed in Marseilles, France.
He said that was an eye-opening experience.
“It was an education, that was for sure. I didn’t know anything. I was just a high school student,” he said. “I got promoted several times. I used to be a company clerk, then they made me a platoon corporal, and then they made me a platoon sergeant, then they made me a staff sergeant in charge of the supply room.”
McGregor traveled to Europe with about 18,000 other troops on the Queen Elizabeth ship.
“When they were going to invade France, they sent the Queen Elizabeth to pick up a bunch of us in New York. Picked up 18,000 of us,” he said. “We crossed the ocean in five days. My first child was born while I was overseas. The Red Cross let me know that I had a daughter named Judy. I wouldn’t get to see her for another year-and-a-half.”
After the war, McGregor and his wife returned to her family farm south of Honeywell, Kansas whose property extended across the Oklahoma state line.
McGregor took over his father-in-law’s farming operation after he passed away.
“He died of a heart attack, and I took over his land that he was farming, and I just stayed farming until I moved here (to Villagio of Bradford Village in Edmond).”
McGregor said he operated a versatile farming program. He had cows and sheep, and grew wheat and hay and barley.
“You have to be pretty smart to farm,” he said. “You have to know animals, you have to know grains, you have to know seeds, plants, and everything. I was free to make my own choices. I was my own boss.”
McGregor never farmed on Sundays.
“We always shut it down on Sunday. I had a very good relationship with God, and He showed me many things that I couldn’t believe, I couldn’t imagine,” McGregor said. “He taught me and blessed me.”
McGregor said prayer is a powerful tool. He cited the example of his daughter Diane who was born with heart valve problems, and wasn’t expected to live to be 7-years-old.
“We went to my mother’s place. She lived in Kansas City, and she had become a Pentecostal,” he said. “We went to church with her, and she came back, took Diane up to the front, to the pastor, to the people. Everybody in that church just rose up and went up there to pray for her. They all believed in healing.”
McGregor said the family asked for a family doctor friend to examine Diane a few days later.
“He was going over her with his stethoscope, and finally he said, “There’s nothing wrong with this girl. She’s 77 now and lives in Dallas,” McGregor said.
McGregor also recited a story about how prayer saved his wheat crop, while several around him had their crops destroyed from a storm.
McGregor and his wife raised four daughters, and has 11 grandchildren, 30+ great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson.
“My children and grandchildren treat me very well. Better than I deserve,” he said.
McGregor has lived through two pandemics, the Spanish flu pandemic that lasted from 1918 to 1919, and the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
McGregor said growing up in South Haven, his family was excited to be owners of new vehicles during an era when many people there didn’t own a car.
“Dad, my grandpa and three uncles all bought a new Ford in South Haven for $800 each,” he said. “It was a curtain top. You have to run the wipers a certain way. You had to crank the car to start it.”
McGregor spends each day reading his Bible, and says he always learns something new.
He also recites the same prayer each night.
“God, I’ll see you in the morning, your house or mine,” McGregor said.
McGregor said he has lived a great life, and he is not afraid of death. He said he looks forward to the day when he enters the Kingdom of Heaven.
“From what I read in the Bible, my mouth may fall open and I may not be able to close it for two or three days,” he said.