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90-year-old Illinois woman gets high school diploma

Sunday, June 7, 2009

CHICAGO -- A 90-year-old suburban Chicago woman who dropped out of school to help her family during the Great Depression now has her high school diploma.

Eleanor Benz left Chicago Public Schools' Lake View High in 1936 during her senior year to take a job. Over the following decades she moved to the suburb of Gurnee and had 15 children, 54 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

Benz attended night school for typing and bookkeeping, but she recently told one of her daughters that never completing high school was one of her greatest disappointments. Her children contacted Lake View, and the school approved Benz's diploma.

Last week, at her 90th birthday party, Benz's family presented her with the diploma and a 2009 gown and cap with a 1936 tassel.


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