Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Community News Network

March 5, 2013

Finally graduating at 106 years old

BEVERLY, Mass. — As one official after another stood up to praise him, Fred Butler was ready with the occasional comment.

“I voted for you,” he told Beverly, Mass. Mayor Bill Scanlon.

“I remember when you played football,” he said to Beverly High School Principal Sean Gallagher.

At 106, Butler doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody. But his bantering showed that even at his age, his mind is sharp enough to merit the honor he was finally given yesterday.

Butler, the city’s oldest resident, was presented with an honorary high school diploma in a ceremony in the Beverly High School library.

Sitting in a wheelchair, his winter coat still on over a buttoned-up sweater, Butler appeared to be overcome by emotion when School Committee President Maria Decker handed him his diploma and the audience of about 100 family members, officials and students gave him a standing ovation.

“I thank everybody who is responsible for this,” he said. “I certainly appreciate it.”

Butler, who was born in 1906, dropped out of school in the ninth grade to work full time in a printing shop to help support his mother and five siblings.

He went on to lead a good life, raising five children with his wife of 65 years, getting drafted into World War II at age 35 and working for the Beverly water department. But family members said he always regretted never earning his diploma.

“It never slowed him down or stopped him, but it prompted him to always send the message to his children and grandchildren of the importance of education,” daughter-in-law Cathy Butler said. “The first thing he always asks is, ‘How’d you do in school today?’”

His grandson, Mike Calabro, recalled looking forward to the $5 he would get from his grandfather for every A on his report card.

Text Only
Community News Network
House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Has the rash of shootings in Indianapolis made you reconsider attending an event or patronizing a business there? Yes, it's out of control No, it's no more dangerous than anywhere else

     View Results
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read