CLARENCE, NY (WKBW-TV) — Robert Pope will celebrate his 98th birthday on November 10th. The next day is Veteran's Day and he will celebrate that too.
Bob was captured during World War II and spent four and a half months as a POW. He details his story in a book he wrote a few years ago called "My Nine Lives". He says "The time was short, but it's what happened in that four and a half months."
He survived the lack of food and the forced labor of building and rebuilding German railways. Eventually he was able to escape and when he did he says "We walked for thirty six hours until we came across an American jeep."
Bob had a career as a professional fund raiser. Millard Suburban Hospital stands because of his efforts. He says "It's these little things that make you feel happy and make you look forward to what you have been able to do to help other people."
He lives at Solstice Senior Living in Clarence. His nickname here is "Bingo Bob" because he volunteered to be the bingo caller when he arrived here eight years ago and he's been doing it ever since.
Bob attributes his longevity to having a grandfather who lived to be a hundred and two and his exercise. He adds "I'm a firm believer in exercise it's not just good for your body, it's good for your mind too."