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106-year-old man gets high school diploma

massachusetts honorary u.s. army water department

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#1 Hum

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 14:40

BEVERLY, Mass. – A 106-year-old Beverly man who had to drop out of school before the ninth-grade to support his mother and five siblings has finally earned his high school diploma.

Fred Butler was awarded his honorary diploma Monday during an emotional ceremony attended by school officials and Mayor Bill Scanlon.

Butler thanked "everybody who is responsible for this."

The lack of diploma did not hold him back.

He was married for 65 years, raised five children, served in the U.S. Army during World War II and worked years for the city's water department.

But daughter-in-law Cathy Butler said he always regretted not finishing school and always emphasized the importance of education to his children and grandchildren.

Fred Butler was concerned he didn't earn the diploma, but Scanlon said it was well deserved.

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#2 Shiranui

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 14:44

Always regretted it yet never managed to find time to do anything about it later in life?

#3 OP Hum

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 14:59

Soon he'll be working at McDonald's and dating his babe. :p

#4 linsook

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 15:25

Always regretted it yet never managed to find time to do anything about it later in life?


Butler was born in Dorchester in 1906 (the same year as the man who invented the television), and grew up in Beverly. As a youth, he worked mornings in a small print shop and then went to school in the afternoon. When he was offered a full-time position at the print shop, he chose to take it and left school before his freshman year.

He was already 34 years old when he was drafted into the US Army in 1941 to fight in World War II, and he served in England and the Philippines until the end of the war in 1945. He did not marry until he was 41, but still had 65 years with his wife, who died in September at age 93. The couple had five children, all of whom graduated from Beverly High School, and the family has grown to ­include great-great-grandchildren.

Butler spent much of his ­career working for the Beverly Water Department and retired in 1975, the day his youngest son, Jim, graduated from high school. “And I’m 55,” Jim said. “Some of my friends have ­already passed away.”


He retired at 70. Why would he think about a HS diploma? He took care of his mother and siblings and then he took care of his 5 children and wife. Not a lot of time to be thinking about that.

#5 Growled

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:23

Just goes to show that you are never too old to reach your goals in life.