Calif. man dies at 103; had bullet in his head since 1917

William Lawlis Pace, of Hilmar, Calif., died Monday at 103. Remarkable feat on its own, but even more remarkable because he lived 95 of his years with a bullet in his head, The Modesto Bee informs the world.

In 2006, the Burkburnett, Texas, native, who marked his 103rd birthday Feb. 27, was bestowed with the Guinness record for “Longest time to live with a bullet in the head.”

One of Pace’s brothers accidentally shot him behind the left ear when he was 8 years old. Doctors did not operate, fearing he would not survive surgery. According to Guinness, the wound caused a facial disfigurement, total hearing loss in his right ear and near blindness in his right eye. Nonetheless, the Bee notes, it did not stop him from playing sports as a kid.

In 1946, Pace and his family moved from Texas to a 40-acre farm in Hilmar, not far from Yosemite National Park. Ten years later, he became the caretaker of the North and South Hilmar cemeteries, according to his obituary in the Turlock Journal.

Pace, who was known as Lawlis, farmed for more than 60 years and was married for 70 years; his wife, Onetia, died in 2004. “His sense of humor and kindness was experienced by all who knew him,” his obituary says.

Pace will be buried Saturday morning at the North Hilmar Cemetery.

Calif. man dies at 103; had bullet in his head since 1917.

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