Fred Butler, 106, Awarded High School Diploma

| by Michael Allen
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Fred Butler, 106, was awarded an honorary high school diploma on Monday during a ceremony attended by school officials, state lawmakers and Beverly, Massachusetts, Mayor Bill Scanlon.

"I thank everybody who is responsible for this," Butler said,  holding a diploma in his hands. "I certainly appreciate it."

According to, Butler dropped out of school before the ninth grade to accept a full-time job at a print shop to support his mother and five siblings. He then went on to fight in World War II.

Daughter-in-law Cathy Butler launched the effort to get her father-in-law his high school diploma as a way to raise his spirits following the death of his wife, Ruth, last year.

Fred Butler's only concern was that he hadn't earned it.

Butler was married for 65 years, raised five children and worked for years at the local water department.

"It's a long time to wait for your diploma," Mayor Scanlon said, "but you've obviously earned it very well."