91-year-old WWII veteran gets high school diploma

91-year-old WWII veteran gets high school diploma (WKRC) 

FLORENCE, Ky. (WKRC) - It's never too late.

That's the message in Florence on Tuesday night as a veteran completes a mission he started in 1940.

As 91-year-old Bob Bockelman entered the room he has no clue what's about to happen.

"I had not an inkling, nobody said anything," said Bob.

But it's actually what Bockelman said a recently that made this moment possible.

"Couple of months ago they asked him what's your biggest regret? He said that he never not got his high school diploma. He never told us that. We never heard it," said Gary.

So Elmcroft of Florence Assisted Living got with the non-profit Second Wind Dreams to make it happen.

Standing before Bockelman is St. Bernard Superintendent Dr. Mimi Webb.

"One of the best jobs as superintendent is the confirming of diplomas," said Dr. Mimi Webb, St. Bernard Superintendent.

Bockelman is originally from St. Bernard. He left high school as a junior to volunteer to serve in World War II. He missed his senior year and graduation.

When he came back, he got his GED and worked for Cincinnati Gas and Electric for 36 years.

"I'll tell you what I haven't time for it to sink in yet. I was glad I got my GED. Had I had it I probably would've gone higher in the company. They wouldn't promote me because I didn't have anything but a GED," said Bob.

Now 73 three years later, it's official, class of '44.

"I really haven't had too much time to think about it but I sure am proud of that I'll tell ya. I was glad to get that," said Bob.

The superintendent mentioned to Bockleman that a new school is being built. She offered to bring Bockelman up for a tour when he's ready.

Bockelman has two children, four grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.

Many of them were there on Tuesday night to help celebrate.

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