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article image106-year-old Mass. man finally gets his high school diploma

By Abigail Prendergast     Mar 5, 2013 in Odd News
Beverly - Fred Butler, a 106-year-old man from Massachusetts, has finally reached his goal of getting his high school diploma. His daugther-in-law, Cathy, had worked on it since Fred's wife died last year. Butler dropped out of school to help his family.
The turn of the 21st century has seen quite the surge of people born during the baby boomer era either refreshing or continuing their education by going back to college. A survey conducted by U.S. News and World Report in 2007 says that the amount of college students between the ages of 40 and 64 had, in fact, risen to nearly 20 percent to a total of practically 2 million people within that range.
The notion that it is never too late seems to ring true for Fred Butler, a 106-year-old man from Beverly, Massachusetts who had been awarded an honorary high school diploma on Monday, March 4th.
According to the Toronto Star, Butler had more or less been forced to drop out of school in the ninth grade in order to assist his mother and help support his five siblings. The lack of a diploma didn't deter Mr. Butler in his personal or professional pursuits, though, as he held a marriage for 65 years, raised five kids, served in the Army during the second World War, and had been employed by the city's water department.
Even so, not having a high school diploma had bugged Butler ever since he had to call it quits with schooling, said his daughter-in-law, Cathy Butler. Despite not having one, he still "emphasized the importance of education to his children and grandchildren."
Mike Calabro, one of Butler's grandsons, said his grandfather would give him five dollars for every A he received on his report card.
After the death of Butler's wife, Ruth, last year, Cathy Butler decided to bring forth an effort to raise her father-in-law's spirits and get him his diploma after so many years.
Fred Butler did thank everybody who did what they could to make it happen, but also felt concerned that he didn't really earn it. Beverly Mayor, Bill Scanlon, wholeheartedly disagreed with the notion saying that Butler, who waited so long for his diploma had "obviously earned it very well."
At the ceremony, which was also "attended by school officials [and] state lawmakers," Butler showed an overwhelming sense of gratitude toward those who helped make his journey finally come to completion.
"I certainly appreciate it," Butler said.
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