Margaret Thome Bekema born in 1918 is now 97 years old. Margaret never got the chance to graduate her high school, she went to Grand Rapids Catholic Central High and she was forced to leave due to her circumstances in her life. She left school to take care of her siblings and her mother who had cancer. Margaret later on went onto doing clerical work for the armed forces and then served as a preschool teacher.
Her family contacted Grand Rapids Catholic Central High and told them about Margarets story, after hearing her story they were touched. They arranged to award Margaret with an honorary diploma at Yorkshire and Stonebridge Manor senior community. 79 years after she finally received her diploma, Margaret burst into tears of joy.
Whilst she was receiving her diploma she was thanking the school from the ‘bottom of her heart’. Principal Greg Deja told MLive “Her life has been one of sacrifice and service. It has been so encouraging and inspiring for our community because her choices represent all the core values that we teach our students.”
Margaret went on to say “I had to quit school to take over the family. It was hard, you have no idea how hard that was. I loved high school and I had lots of friends.”
Margaret burst into tears whilst she was receiving her graduation cap.