Los Angeles: A US man who was unable to pursue education in his childhood has finally earned a high school diploma at the ripe age of 106. Frederick J Butler of Beverly was born in a different time, more than seven years before any world war.
Today, Butler is still going strong at the age of 106. Not only is he Beverly's oldest resident, he's now also the very first member of the Beverly High School Class of 2013 to graduate, the Beverly Citizen reported.
Butler, who attended Briscoe Middle School in his youth, stopped his education in the 8th grade in order to begin his working career and offer full-time financial support to his family. He later served in the US Army during World War II from 1941-1945, married his sweetheart, Ruth, and started a family, and returned home to work for the Beverly Water Department, retiring in 1975.
However, the education chapter of his life remained an unfinished one, until now. Surrounded by his family, friends, the students of Beverly High School, and a host of dignitaries, Butler received his long-anticipated high school diploma on Monday morning to a hero's welcome, in an event at the high school media center arranged by members of Butler's family and other local officials.
Beverly City Council President Paul Guanci made the ceremony's opening remarks, reading a proclamation to be later entered into the record at Monday night's council meeting, explaining that Butler was a man who has dedicated his life to putting others first. Guanci provided more history on Butler's life, adding that he was born in Dorchester on November 23, 1906, as one of five siblings.
US lawmaker John Tierney presented the centenarian with a special resolution from the US Congress, honouring Butler's service to his family and the nation. Mayor Bill Scanlon further proclaimed March 4, 2013, as Frederick J Butler Day in the city of Beverly.
"The whole city is very, very proud of this gentleman," said Scanlon. "I want to thank everyone responsible for this; I certainly appreciate it," said Butler, a man of few words even in his moment of honour.