LIVING

97-Year Old Woman Tearfully Accepts High School Diploma

11/02/2015 04:26 EST | Updated 11/02/2015 04:59 EST

When Margaret Bekema was forced to leave high school to take care of her cancer-stricken mother and younger siblings in the early 1930s she was heartbroken. Seventy-nine years later, Catholic Central High School's principal Greg Deja says giving Margaret an honourary diploma is just a small thing the school can do to lift her heart and put it back together.

Margaret first started attending Catholic Central in 1932. She was supposed to graduate in 1936. Despite not having a high school diploma, Margaret worked as a clerical assistant for the armed forces and taught preschool.

According to Fox17 Online, one of Bekema's relatives contacted the school this summer and told them her story.

When Deja handed Bekema her diploma, she burst into tears, admitting she didn't know how to express her thanks. She later went on to say she was feeling "just plain tickled" by the whole experience.

Also on HuffPost

Graduation Quotes To Inspire High Schoolers