BEVERLY, Mass. — A 106-year-old Massachusetts 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 Beverly 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 for the city’s water department.

But daughter-in-law Cathy Butler says he always regretted dropping out 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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