Hubert Mizell celebrates centennial of his own

Published 10:31 am Monday, July 21, 2014

Hubert Mizell has seen much in his 100 years.

After experiencing the horror of World War II as a member of the U.S. Army from 1941-1945, he returned home to Bogalusa, where he became a member of Ben’s Ford Baptist Church.

The church threw a birthday bash for Mizell on his July 6 birthday. He has been a deacon in the church for 61 years.

Mizell enjoys relatively good health for someone who has reached the century mark. He is currently visiting his only child, Sheila Anthaume, in Lafayette. He has two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

“I feel good for 100 years old,” Mizell said on Friday. “You can say I’ve seen a lot of water under the bridge. I’ve had a long life. I’ve seen a lot of changes in this world. I didn’t see my first automobile until I was 6. We didn’t have any telephones or televisions. We didn’t have a radio until the 1920s.”

Mizell said a possible reason for his longevity was that he never got caught up in the fast life.

“It’s because of clean living,” Mizell said. “I spent most of my life outdoors.”

When Mizell signed up for WWII, he joined the 108th Cavalry in Bogalusa. The unit later became the 105th Battalion of the National Guard, also located in Bogalusa. He later went to gunnery school.

After Mizell was shipped overseas, he saw action in North Africa and Italy. He participated in the Battle of Kasserine Pass in the Tunisia Campaign of February 1943.

“After the Army, I joined the church in 1948,” Mizell said. “I found Jesus during the war. As the Civil War general (the Union’s William Sherman) said, ‘War is hell.’ I hated to see it coming, but there was no other way.”

Ben’s Ford Baptist Church seemed to be the perfect place for Mizell to put his battles behind him. The church was five miles from where he lived.

Mizell had a passion for riding horses his entire life. He often rode horses in any rodeo he could find. He operated a dairy farm after the war and raised cattle.

Mizell was married twice, first to Mildred Stafford. She passed away in the 1980s. Mizell and second wife, Juanita Roach, spent 10 years together before she also passed away.

Mizell said living to be 100 years old is quite an accomplishment considering what he has been through.

“There were several times I didn’t think I’d make it,” Mizell said. “During the war I was close to death. As a boy, I was racing my horse when the horse got scared and threw me on concrete, but I made it through that.”