I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Monday, November 2, 2015
Former preschool teacher receives honorary high school diploma at 97
Margaret Thome Bekema received an honorary high schooldiploma from a Michigan high school last Thursday. Eighty years ago, she was forced to leave school in order to help her family. This week, she got to wear her graduation cap and fulfill her lifelong goal of receiving her diploma. Bekema is 97 years old.
Bekema, with her friends and family as witnesses, was awarded the diploma by Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, reports the Associated Press on Nov. 1. She was in tears at the ceremony. "After all of these years, representing all of the core values for which our school stands, we proudly recognize Margaret with an official honorary diploma," school principal Greg Deja said as he presented her with the diploma.
Bekema was torn when she had to leave school at 17 to take care of her mother who had cancer and her three younger siblings. After her mother passed away, she was unable to go back to school, and instead took on clerical work for the armed forces as a way to support the family. Eventually, Bekema became a preschool teacher.
Last summer, Bekema’s family contacted Catholic Central High School and shared her story. The school’s principal awarded her the diploma at Yorkshire and Stonebridge Manor senior community on Oct. 29.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com