AUSTIN, Texas — A public funeral is set for the nation’s oldest World War II veteran who died this week in Texas at the age of 112.

Richard Overton was also believed to have been the oldest man in the U.S. Family members say he died Thursday in Austin, Texas, a few days after being released from a hospital.

Allen Bergeron was a friend of Overton’s and the city’s veterans program administrator. He says the funeral will be Jan. 12 at an Austin church. Burial is planned in the Texas State Cemetery.

Overton served in the Army in the 1940s. Former President Barack Obama honored Overton at a Veterans Day ceremony in 2013.

The Army veteran had been hospitalized with pneumonia but was released on Christmas Eve, said Shirley Overton, whose husband was Richard’s cousin and his longtime caretaker.

“They had done all they could,” she said.

He died Thursday evening at a rehab facility in Austin, Texas, she said.

Overton was in his 30s when he volunteered for the Army and was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese attack in 1941. He once said that one secret to his long life was smoking cigars and drinking whiskey, which he often was found doing on the porch of his Austin home.

His recent birthdays drew national attention and strangers would stop by his house to meet him. Even well into his 100s, he would drive widows in his neighborhood to church.

“With his quick wit and kind spirit he touched the lives of so many, and I am deeply honored to have known him,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement Thursday, calling Overton “an American icon and Texas legend.”

“Richard Overton made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans,” the governor added. “We can never repay Richard Overton for his service to our nation and for his lasting impact on the Lone Star State.”

Overton was born in 1906 near Austin and served in the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion.

“He was there at Pearl Harbor, when the battleships were still smoldering,” Obama said of Overton during the 2013 Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. “He was there at Okinawa. He was there at Iwo Jima, where he said, ‘I only got out of there by the grace of God.’”